In September, a horse race will take place in Taranaki which gives the runners the chance to qualify for a race in December's Jericho Cup in Australia.

The Jericho Cup commemorates Australia and New Zealand's light horse involvement in World War I and was first run on the desert of Palestine, just outside the city of Jericho in 1918.

The flat race is run over 4600m at Victoria's Warrnambool Racecourse and is only open to horses which were conceived and born in Australia or New Zealand.

The winner of the Taranaki feature race will be exempt from the Jericho Cup ballot, while the second and third-placed horses will receive double qualifying points to help secure a start in the unique Australian race.


New Zealand's Mounted Rifles took 10,000 horses to war in World War I, and only four returned.

Mary Burgess of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, which organises the event, says the organisers are hoping to track down some members of a Taranaki family with ties to the Mounted Rifles.

"Thanks to the National War Museum, we have come up with a family of four brothers from the Taranaki region who served in the First World War."

Mary says the brothers Robert, Arthur, Richard and Stuart Kidd served, as did their sister Elsie, who was a nurse. Not all the siblings returned home.

"Robert was with the Wellington Mounted Rifles and was killed in Palestine, while his brother Stuart, who served with the Imperial Camel Corp was also killed in action."

Mary says she would love to hear from any descendants of any of the five siblings.

"We want to acknowledge the service the Kidd family gave to their country during the First World War by involving them in the race meeting at Taranaki in September this year."

Anyone who is a descendant of the family, or can help further is asked to contact Mary: