Submitted by admin on April 23, 2009 - 01:21
Hunt clubs, to be distinguished from the various hunts which had existed in New Zealand from very early times, first came under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Racing Conference in November 1892, when the Wanganui Jockey Club's suggested rules for the regulation of hunt club race meetings were added to the Rules of Racing. At that time hunt clubs could use the totalisator at meetings held on racecourses. The new rules stated that the totalisator might be used only if all surplus money was spent on legitimate hunt activities. A New Zealand Hunt Club's Association was formed in 1900, and all clubs had to be registered. Thus began a closer association with the Racing Conference. The hunt clubs suffered financially when the number of totalisator permits was reduced at the turn of the century. Racing clubs gave only spasmodic help and their generosity varied. In 1911 the Racing Conference appointed a committee to consider whether (and how) hunts should be supported, and in 1912 approved a system of voluntary subscriptions from racing clubs. The Hunt Clubs' Association pressed for totalisator permits for hunt clubs and, eventually, eight were granted under the Gaming Amendment Act of 1914. A Royal Commission found it so hard to decide which of the 18 applicants should receive the permits that it finally decided on a system of 16 clubs participating in two groups in alternate seasons. This compromise lasted until a further eight permits were granted in 1920. Two more permits were granted after the 1946 Royal Commission report.