Barry Thomas elected an Honorary Life Member
Chairman Gordon Fulton presided over the Canterbury Jockey Club Annual General Meeting on the evening of Wednesday 7 October 2020.
The regular business of an AGM preceded a presentation on the synthetic track that is being proposed for Riccarton Park inside of the existing course.
Prior to that the Club elected a new Honorary Life Member.
Rule 3.2.4 provides for the Club to recognise with Honorary Life Membership anyone who has given exceptional service to the Club or to thoroughbred racing generally. Barry Thomas, CNZM, a member of CJC since 1980 and genuine and enthusiastic racegoer, qualifies on both accounts.
Through his business, the Christchurch Casino Barry is arguably New Zealand racing’s most significant sponsor. Christchurch Casino has sponsored the Club since 1996 when they had naming rights to the three-year-old 3yo race at the then Easter Monday Meeting. In 1997 they took over the Easter Cup before moving to the NZ Cup meeting in 1998 and the Churchill Stakes in 2002.
In 2005 Christchurch Casino stepped in to sponsor the NZ 2000 Guineas and in 2006 took the Club’s flagship race the Christchurch Casino NZ Cup which that year was won by PENTATHON for Hall of Fame trainer John Wheeler and champion jockey Noel Harris. They have sponsored ‘The Cup’ and the Spring Classic and Winter Classic from that time.
This support underpins the NZ Cup enabling it to hold the stake it does and through that the success of the NZ Cup Meeting and ultimately a key contributor to the success of the Canterbury Jockey Club itself.
Barry is also a successful owner supporting Riccarton Park trainers Kevin & Pam Hughes with CRYSTAL DUKE, a 10 time winner including the 2012 Christchurch Casino Winter Classic and MAYBE MIAMI, a winner of 10, including the Speights Timaru Stakes being his best horses.
He was recognised in the Queens Birthday honours of 2018 with a CNZM for services to tourism and business.
Image - Barry Thomas (right) as part of the 2019 Cup presentation
The Annual Report for the 2019-2020 year is available as a read document via this link.