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Beauty queen wins celebrity race

By Gary Caffell

Former Wairarapa Greyhound Racing Club president Paul Cotter can’t recall the exact date.

He thinks it might have been the late 1970’s but it could have been the early 1980’s too.

It was at a time, however, when the now defunct Wairarapa club drew regularly big crowds to their meetings at Solway Showgrounds and to add flavour to this particular occasion Cotter decided to programme a celebrity hurdle race, featuring several high profile sporting personalities in the local region.

Cotter himself was a starter and fancied his chances on the basis that he once was a sprinter of some note….. his words not mine.

As it happened he didn’t stand a chance.

Not against All Blacks great BJ (now Sir Brian) Lochore, the world’s top ranked rugby referee Bob Francis (later to spend 21 years as Mayor of Masterton), tennis legends Henry Gaskin and Shirley Corlett, broadcaster Stu Scott and butcher Max Stevenson.

But even they all had to bow in the end to the then Miss Golden Shears, the name of whom remains a mystery which this particular story may help to solve.

It was a photo finish but she held out a fast finishing Lochore by a narrow margin.

Tempting to say it was a case of beauty beating the beast (s) but for the sake of good grace we will resist it.


  1. I think it was 1978 or 79, I was in the race for Ballins Industries, and I certainly didn’t win!! it was a hurdle race around the Solway arena.
    Blast from the Past.

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