Popular Matamata hospitality venue Good Merchant played host to their usual crowd for happy hour last Wednesday evening and was also the location for the popular NZTBA Waikato branch annual quiz night.
The event was a huge success, raising funds of $7,500 for local horsewoman-, Lauren Russo, who was employed with the Valachi Downs pre-training and breaking division when diagnosed with Stage 3B Melanoma. The money raised will be donated through the dedicated Give A Little page, Long Life for Lauren.
“It was great that the industry came together again for our annual quiz night for the Waikato Breeders’ Association,” said Waikato branch President Dave Duley.- “It was good to see people get behind the cause with the community putting their hands in their pockets to support Lauren. “
As well as the quiz was a variety of raffles, prizes and auction items. Excitement mounted as a bidding war developed between Cambridge Stud and Ed Stapleton Bloodstock to claim the Te Rapa Races sponsorship naming rights and raceday package.
After being knocked down to Cambridge Stud for $2,600, the package was offered to the under-bidder Ed Stapleton Bloodstock, who came to the party with $2,500 and Cambridge Stud then donated their $2,600. Kilmore farm had been on the phone via Tommy Hazlett and after dropping out of the bidding, also donated their bid of $800.
The other main auction item, a gelding operation donated by Matamata Veterinary Services, was won by Stephen and Lynley Autridge for $800.
Further raffle items were generously provided by New Zealand Bloodstock, Platinum Performance, SoHo Wine, Dunstan Horse Feeds and the NZTBA.
“On behalf of the Waikato Branch of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association I wish to give gratitude and the biggest thank you for everyone’s kind donations,” stated NZTBA Secretary Scotty Buchanan.
“I had heard about Lauren’s story through work colleagues a few months ago and was saddened by her experience with the public health system. It had hit a personal nerve.
“It is an honour to be able to reach out to such a wonderful community that we have in breeding and racing, and be in a position to help. Being a part of an enthusiastic committee that are willing to take time out of their own busy lives and organise events like the quiz night is awesome!
“Lauren is an extremely humble young lady who was hesitant to take up the offer to fundraise for her. She’s tough and brave and we wish her all the best.”
The NZTBA thanks Scotty for his incredible organisation of the night to ensure it ran smoothly. The winning team, taking home the annual quiz shield, was the Sunshine Sonnys.
Thank you to everyone who attended the evening, the NZTBA Waikato branch and the Good Merchant for hosting the function at their amazing facility and providing great entertainment throughout the night.
The link to Lauren’s give a little page can be found here:
Madison Tims, NZTBA