Father Christmas delivers early gift at Palmerston

Wednesday, August 20, 2014
By  Shelley Caldwell-Topp

Father Christmas touched down in  Palmerston last weekend  to make an early delivery to the 28 members of the Seafield Trotting Syndicate, and  their friend David Beckinsale.

The Christchurch-based  Seafield Trotting Syndicate, and Beckinsale, race  Father Christmas  on lease from  his breeders, Keith and Bevan Grice, of Ashburton.

Last Saturday night their pride and joy won the  2014 Three-Year-Old Colt or Gelding Trotter of the Year Award  at the Otago Harness Racing Awards,  at  Waihemo Lodge Hotel in Palmerston.

Seafield Trotting Syndicate members, Greg Crawford (left) and Neil Bennett  with the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year Award, won by Father Christmas at the Otago Harness Racing Awards

Seafield Trotting Syndicate members, Greg Crawford (left) and Neil Bennett with the Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt or Gelding of the Year Award, won by Father Christmas at the Otago Harness Racing Awards

Father Christmas, was foaled on Christmas Day  2010.  He is a Love You gelding from Juliana (a full sister to Dependable, 14 wins,  Jo Anne, 12 wins, and many other fine  trotters  from the outstanding broodmare Janetta’s Pride),  and is trained at Oamaru by Phil Williamson.

This impressive young trotter looks to have a big future and began his racing career in the best possible way with a win. That was on May 18  at Oamaru. Since  then he has  had  two more wins,  at  Forbury Park, on  June 12, and Oamaru again, on July 13. He  also ran third twice from only seven starts in his debut season.

The Father Christmas fan club is hard to miss wherever he races, with the fun-loving  Seafield Syndicate members, and Beckinsale, all donning Santa hats on course.

“We have a whole lot of Santa hats in his gear bag, and have worn them since his first start when he won at Oamaru.  We can’t stop now and even wore them at the awards dinner,” said syndicate member, Neil Bennett

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