While Ruakaka may be a little further from home, some Dargaville residents made the trip across to the east coast to enjoy the racing action.

Dargaville's race meeting, which was due to be held in Dargaville yesterday, was called off last month after a section of the track did not come through the wet winter well.

Whangarei Racing Club offered to pick up the event and hold it at Ruakaka instead.

Donny McNamara was part of a Dargaville group who made the trip and said he had seen a few other Dargaville locals.

Advertisement

"We thought we'd trip over and have a look."

He was disappointed that Dargaville's race day had been moved from its home track.

Dean Larsen, who was part of the same group, reckoned it was worth the journey east.

"We've got beer and there's horses running around, Dargaville's home though isn't it?"

Dargaville farmer Gus Gillespie knew of a few mini buses of people that had made the trip.

"It's totally different, we've got no facilities at Dargaville, it's just a hill and a picnic atmosphere."

But he said while Dargaville was better, there was plenty of support from home.

Dargaville friends Jess Stevenson, who took the day off work, and Jess McConnachie thought they would dress up and have some fun.

Dargaville friends Lou Downey, Dean Larsen, Donny McNamara, Darren Downey, Dargaville Racing Club president Tim Antonio and wife Rose Antonio. Photo/John Stone
Dargaville friends Lou Downey, Dean Larsen, Donny McNamara, Darren Downey, Dargaville Racing Club president Tim Antonio and wife Rose Antonio. Photo/John Stone

Dargaville Racing Club president Tim Antonio and his wife Rose were both at Ruakaka.

"We're here to support Whangarei because they've supported us."

Mr Antonio had encouraged members of their club to come across for the day.

"We're grateful to the Whangarei club for actually picking it up and that way it keeps racing in Northland."

Race 6 on the card was the Dargaville Racing Club Northland Cup and Mr Antonio said members of the club were part of the presentation to the winner.

He said usually the race is named after a sponsor but yesterday the Dargaville club was the sponsor.

Former Dargaville Racing Club president Bob Thompson, who now lives in Whangarei, studies the race book. Photo/John Stone
Former Dargaville Racing Club president Bob Thompson, who now lives in Whangarei, studies the race book. Photo/John Stone

Former Dargaville president Bob Thompson, who know lives in Whangarei, said keeping the race in Northland was important.

"It's better to have a race meeting than not at all. Otherwise we might lose that date for the north, it might go down south and we might not get it back again."