Pete Ydgren: Commercial Development Manager, Harness Racing NZ

Thursday, June 5, 2014
By Shelley Caldwell-Topp

Q Tell us what a normal work day involves for you?

A) My days are quite varied but generally involve working with our staff on various aspects of the organisation including the Weekly and Marketing departments and our Education team. I also have a lot of contact with industry bodies and the NZRB. If I can get out to the races or trials it’s nice to catch up with other people in the industry and get the lowdown on what’s happening in the stables.

Q) What made you interested in the job you now have?

A) Having been away from the industry for about eight years working in a corporate environment it was a great opportunity to come back into the game and hopefully make some positive changes.

Pete Yrdgren

Pete Yrdgren

Q) Have you had any other experience working in the Harness Racing Industry?

A) I was a regular “Best Bet” in the Turf Digest when I was a Junior Driver at Cran Dalgety’s thanks to Mark Jones but gave it away when I graduated from University and headed off on my O.E.

Q4) Do you have an ownership in any race horses?

A) Refer to Question 24.

Q)What do you like best about the harness racing industry?

A) The horses without question. I try and remind people that a bad day working in the stables is better than any day working in an office.

Q) What hobbies/interests do you have outside work?

A) I like to compete in Multisport and Adventure Racing and have a young family that keeps my calendar relatively full.

Q) Can you recommend a favourite place to eat in Christchurch or the wider Canterbury area?

A) Mexicanos in Victoria Street (in Christchurch) is a great new addition to the city.

Q)What is your favourite food?

A) Coffee.

Q) Who does the cooking at your place?

A) My wife holds most of the culinary expertise, unless the BBQ is involved.

Q) What is your all-time favourite movie?

A) Chopper

Q) What is your favourite book?

A) The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Q) What is your favourite television programme?

A) UFC Fight Night

Q) Who is your favourite singer/songwriter/artist/actor or poet?

A) Jim Morrison fits all those categories

Q) How often do you go to the races?

A) Most weeks.

Q) When was the last time you attended.

A) Last weekend.

Q16) What is your favourite race track?

A) I had my first drive at Forbury Park. Led, trailed, an excellent eighth.

Q) What is the best harness horse you have seen race and why?

A) Christian Cullen. His presence on and off the track.

Q) Have you travelled overseas? If so where, and did you see any harness racing during your travels.?

A) I lived in France for a year and have spent a while trekking around Europe. I’ve been to tracks in France, Denmark and Sweden.

Q) What do you do to relax and unwind at the weekend?

A) Run and spend time with the family.

Q) Are there any other members of your family involved in the harness racing industry?

A) My brother Nick is a Stipe and Charlie Hunter is a relative.

Q) What is your family situation? Do you have any children?

A) Married with two kids _ four and one.

Q) What do you like about your job?

A) Dealing with a wide variety of people in the same day.

Q) Is harness racing an industry you would recommend working in? If so why? If not why?

A) It’s not the easiest road for anybody be it in the stables or administration but places worth going are rarely easy to get to.

Q24) What is your annual salary?

A) Not enough to answer Question 4 with a yes.

Q) If there was one thing you could change in the harness racing industry what would it be?

A) The results of Race 4 at Forbury Park in October 2000 (See question 16).

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