Drivers taking their cars off-road and onto the grass at Te Kapua Park are regularly causing damage.

Stratford racing club life members Alan Mason and Jim Gilbert say as well as the damage caused, they have concerns about the safety of those involved.

"There are horses and sheep in the area, often on the very grass they are ripping up with their tyres. One day someone is going to damage themselves as well as the turf."

Jim says there is no lighting in the area, as it isn't a road, and at night it would be easy for someone to not see a hazard until it is too late.


"The people coming here to hoon around in their cars are taking risks as well as showing no respect for the grounds. They deliberately open the gates on their way to the grass, so they are well aware they are trespassing."

Alan says he would encourage anyone noticing cars driving into the racecourse late at night to give the police a call.

"While we do have trainers and jockeys arriving at unusual times after races and so on, it is pretty obvious who should be there and who is going there for no good reason."

The damage to the turf isn't just cosmetic, says Jim.

"It lifts it right up, we spend a lot of time having to put the turf back in place and it takes a long time to grow out."