Trotting returns to Gawler

They are raving to the finish line, with Local MP Tony Piccolo congratulating Mr Peter Bain, President of the Gawler Harness Racing Club, while (from left) Gary Crocker, Acting GM of Harness Racing SA; Chris Hartwig, Chair, Harness Racing SA; and local GHRC Committee Member, Phil Houston look on.

They are raving to the finish line, with Local MP Tony Piccolo congratulating Mr Peter Bain, President of the Gawler Harness Racing Club, while (from left) Gary Crocker, Acting GM of Harness Racing SA; Chris Hartwig, Chair, Harness Racing SA; and local GHRC Committee Member, Phil Houston look on.

Trotting is to return to the Gawler Harness Club in a spectacular way, with a heritage and family fun day at its new site on Two Wells Road, Buchfelde.

Local Member of Light, Tony Piccolo has welcomed the announcement that racing will return to the Gawler Harness Racing Club site, albeit, as a one off event at this stage.

Mr Piccolo said he has been working over the past year with both the Gawler Harness Racing Club and the industry body, Harness Racing SA to explore the best way to have racing take place once again in Gawler.

“The idea of a one off special event is a great way to showcase the new site and reward the years of hard work and patience of the committee and members of the Gawler Harness Club,” Mr Piccolo said.

“Harness racing is steeped in history in Gawler with the first pacing and trotting race being held in 1910 at the Evanston Race Course.

“In 1937 the Gawler Trotting Race Club was formed and the inaugural race for the newly formed club was held in 1938 at Willaston and later moved to the Gawler Oval.

“Night trotting attracted crowds of 10,000 people in the 1950’s,” he said.

The Club continued to actively race in the Gawler area until June 2008, when the Club’s track was acquired by the Northern Expressway development.

Harness racing is steeped in history in Gawler with the first pacing and trotting race being held in 1910 at the Evanston Race Course.

Tony Piccolo

Mr Piccolo said that since that time, the Club’s volunteers have worked tirelessly to rebuild a superior racetrack, which has been successfully hosting trials on Sunday mornings over the past three months.

“To celebrate 80 years of the Club, and 10 years since the last race in Gawler, this one-off event will reflect on its heritage, celebrate a decade of dedication towards rebuilding their facility and showcase sensational harness racing,” Mr Piccolo said.

The heritage and family race day will be held on Sunday March 4, 2018 with racing from 2 until 6 pm.

Children’s entertainment will include face painters, balloon artists, pat the pony and the very popular Pony Trots will race at this event.

Mr Piccolo said the event was a testament to the hard work of the local committee and volunteers to keep the dream of, having harness racing at Gawler, alive.

“I have been very privileged to be able to work alongside the local committee and the industry body, HRSA, to help harness racing return to Gawler,” Mr Piccolo said.

“I am aware how painful it was for local supporters when the original track closed down due to the construction of the Northern Expressway.

“That is why I have worked closely with the local members to make it happen.

“The family fun day will be a great day for harness racing and local families.

“I urge the local community to support the club and turn out in their hundreds, if not thousands, on the day,” he said.