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.
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