Terrier tearaways

Back by popular demand: the Terrier Races.

Back by popular demand: the Terrier Races.

HAS YOUR TERRIER GOT WHAT IT TAKES?: The district’s fastest terriers will face off again next Sunday at the Terrier Races at Showgrounds Park. Gisborne Herald file picture
TEAM YODA: Best dressed team at the last Terrier Races in 2016 was won by Team Yoda, after some careful deliberation by judges Nikki McHugh and Penny Hoogerbrug. Gisborne Herald file picture
TOPP SUPPORTERS: Jools Topp (left) and her twin sister Lynda Topp, aka the Topp Twins, both received the Insignia of a Dame of the New Zealand Order of Merit from Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy in October . . . . next Sunday they perform at the Terrier Races in Gisborne for the fourth time. New Zealand Herald picture

By popular demand, and for the great cause of supporting people diagnosed with breast cancer, the Terrier Races are back next Sunday. Debbie Gregory hears from the organisers about their fun and generous journey . . .

In its 12th year, a fun terrier racing event to raise money for local people with breast cancer is being held in Gisborne next weekend.

As well as the cup for the fastest dog, there are prizes for the best dressed dog and owner, best dressed couple, best dressed group, best dressed lady, best dressed man and best dressed child. Outrageous and fancy dress are not only welcome but encouraged.

The races will be interspersed with fundraising auctions and the newly-honoured Topp Twins will entertain throughout the day. Gourmet food and drinks will be on sale, and attendees can socialise and enjoy the atmosphere while their dogs relax after their races.

The gates open at 10am next Sunday and racing is due to start around 11.30am, continuing until about 5pm depending on the number of dogs racing on the day.

The races attract terriers of all sorts. There are classes for Jack Russells and Foxies specifically, as well as a race for all other terrier breeds with a height limit of 40cm.
Its popularity has seen the event become a regular breast cancer fundraiser in this district since it was first conceived in 2006.

Originally it was a culmination of several ideas. Carol Mitchison (who had just funded her own Herceptin) and Derry Stovell were organising a Ladies Pink Day Out at the Colosseum, and around the same time Pam Hamilton was keen to have a ladies lunch in her woolshed on Melbourne Cup Day.

After a few bubblies at a mutual friend’s luncheon soon after, the ideas morphed into a fundraiser for breast cancer.
Then a couple of days later Pam had a eureka moment in the middle of the night and suggested terrier racing.
Her daughter was working in England at the time and had seen terrier racing there.

Pam’s neighbour and friend Sally Officer was recruited to help, and the first event was held on the Hamilton’s Kaikino Station airstrip on Melbourne Cup Day 2006. It was a huge success, attracting more than 150 people and 55 terrier dogs, and a national television camera.

That first year, after purchasing a new computer for Ozanam House, the balance of the raised funds, $7000, went to the East Coast Breast Cancer Fund. This had been set up by Anne Tolley to help fund the new drug Herceptin, which had been shown to improve the survival rate of Her2 breast cancer patients if taken for 12 months in the early stages of treatment. Pharmac was only funding a nine-week course, when many other countries were funding 12 months.

By popular demand, the women decided to hold another terrier race day the following year, this time closer to town at the Bushmere Polo Grounds — where they doubled the amount raised. By then Jennie Law had slotted in as a much-needed secretary and Nicky Hansen as the “foodie”.

Things snowballed from there, with numbers continuing to grow and the venue moved to Showgrounds Park.

With Herceptin-funded ‘packs’ were born

When Herceptin became funded after John Key took office, the women decided they could do more for local women if they managed their own funds.

In 2008, they changed race day to a Sunday to attract more people and make it a family day.

That year they donated six new leather La-Z-Boy chairs and five portable DVD players to the day ward where chemotherapy treatments are carried out.

They opened a bank account hastily named Terrier Race Against Time, and later registered that name to become a charitable trust in January 2009.

Around this time, Carol’s idea of an information pack for local people diagnosed with breast cancer was coming to fruition. She said she was given so much information at the time of diagnosis that it would be useful to have a satchel to keep it all in.

“By then we had some money in the kitty so could provide more than information and books in the satchel, we would include vouchers to be redeemed at local businesses,” Ms Stovell says.

The packs were born and this is where most of what people help raise is spent.

The first packs were valued at $500 and that has risen to more than $850 each.

“Every person diagnosed with breast cancer in the wider Gisborne area receives one of our packs shortly after diagnosis.”
More than 50 women are diagnosed with breast cancer locally each year.

In 2010 Pam’s friends Jools and Linda Topp, aka the Topp Twins, agreed to come to the party after Jools’ own battle with breast cancer, making for a bigger event than ever. It attracted over 650 people, despite wet weather, and was another huge success raising $23,000.

Now dames, this is the fourth time the Topp Twins are entertaining at the event.

All the money raised stays in this district, says Pam. That year Fran Gibson stepped in to replace Nicky Hansen on the committee.

These days numbers average 1000 people through the gate, and more than 120 terriers.

Ms Stovell said the committee was contributing $10,000 to the new Medical Day Unit at Gisborne Hospital in the form of artwork/partitions between the treatment cubicles.

“We are working with artist Nick Tupara finalising designs.”

There have been changes at the venue also.

“Large poplar trees have been removed this year from the area we use, leaving it quite bare. We were in the process of purchasing more tents to accommodate our tables of 10, so went for bright striped ones to add to the atmosphere.”
Because of the lack of trees in the area now, she cautions people to come prepared for the sun.

The growing band of women who make up the Terrier Race Against Time crew donate all their time and energy into organising it, so that 100 percent of the money raised is used to support other women going through the breast cancer battle. No administration fees are taken out.

Last year Rosie Spence joined the crew and they are expecting the event to be bigger than ever this year.

The primary focus of Terrier Race Against Time is to fund and supply the information packs to every person diagnosed with breast cancer in the Gisborne area.

The packs, in a sturdy satchel, contain $550 worth of vouchers for services such as gardening, lawn-mowing, massage, health products, home help, firewood, exercise programmes and many more; plus a $100 petrol voucher, a pedometer, and several self-help books, along with information sheets on cancer-related subjects and support groups.

“Most of our sponsors and voluntary helpers have been with us for the entire 12 years, and the Topp Twins have become a loyal side-kick,” said Ms Stovell.

“We are indebted to Neville Clarke for his 12 years of championing our cause; it would be quite a different day without his special brand of humour.”

After years of rallying her friends together to support the fund-raising days, Jackie Williams was named patron in 2013.

Each year $40,000 is required to fund packs, so the fund-raising is constant.

“Come along next Sunday, 25th November, have fun, bid enthusiastically and please take note of our sponsors and support them as they support us.”

  • Pre-sold tickets are $30 and available from Farmlands, Palembang, Sean Shivnan Pharmacy and Wainui Store.
  • Gate sales — Adults $35, children $5 and under 5s free; $5 to register a dog.

Blown away by what was in her ‘cancer pack’

Gisborne woman Gina Samson is ever grateful to the Terrier Races for providing support when she needed it most.

“Being diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram a few months ago sent me reeling, to say the least,” she says.

“I had had no pain, no lumps and no family history, so there were a lot of mixed feelings, thoughts and ‘what ifs’ that started to go through my head.

“My follow-up appointment at Gisborne Hospital was quick and everyone I dealt with was compassionate, professional
and understanding.”

On her first visit, Gina was given a “cancer pack” full of reference material, a diary and cancer contacts.

“What really blew me away though was what else was included in this pack.”

It was a sum of vouchers that could be used at a large number of businesses in Gisborne and up the Coast for items such as haircuts, massages, health products and home services.

“These vouchers are as a result of funds raised from the biennial Terrier Races held in Gisborne.

“I was overwhelmed to think that people I didn’t even know were raising money for strangers like me in a time of need.

“Each time I have used the vouchers, I have been given a real lift — which on the rollercoaster journey that cancer is, is really powerfully heart-warming,” Gina said.

“I cannot say thank you enough to everyone involved in the Terrier Races. From the amazing organising committee, to race goers, to supporting businesses, please know that by your generosity you have truly made a difference to me and my journey with breast cancer.

“Gisborne is such an amazing community and it is heartening to know that people still ‘pay it forward’ for others.”

The Terrier Races was a wonderful way to support breast cancer sufferers in the community, she said.

“From someone on the receiving end, the resulting vouchers really have made a difference so thank you so much. I hope everyone gets along to the races again this year on November 25 and supports such a worthwhile cause.

“As my journey continues, it gives me great pleasure to be able to write this recommendation for an event that is truly making a difference in our community.”

By popular demand, and for the great cause of supporting people diagnosed with breast cancer, the Terrier Races are back next Sunday. Debbie Gregory hears from the organisers about their fun and generous journey . . .

In its 12th year, a fun terrier racing event to raise money for local people with breast cancer is being held in Gisborne next weekend.

As well as the cup for the fastest dog, there are prizes for the best dressed dog and owner, best dressed couple, best dressed group, best dressed lady, best dressed man and best dressed child. Outrageous and fancy dress are not only welcome but encouraged.

The races will be interspersed with fundraising auctions and the newly-honoured Topp Twins will entertain throughout the day. Gourmet food and drinks will be on sale, and attendees can socialise and enjoy the atmosphere while their dogs relax after their races.

The gates open at 10am next Sunday and racing is due to start around 11.30am, continuing until about 5pm depending on the number of dogs racing on the day.

The races attract terriers of all sorts. There are classes for Jack Russells and Foxies specifically, as well as a race for all other terrier breeds with a height limit of 40cm.
Its popularity has seen the event become a regular breast cancer fundraiser in this district since it was first conceived in 2006.

Originally it was a culmination of several ideas. Carol Mitchison (who had just funded her own Herceptin) and Derry Stovell were organising a Ladies Pink Day Out at the Colosseum, and around the same time Pam Hamilton was keen to have a ladies lunch in her woolshed on Melbourne Cup Day.

After a few bubblies at a mutual friend’s luncheon soon after, the ideas morphed into a fundraiser for breast cancer.
Then a couple of days later Pam had a eureka moment in the middle of the night and suggested terrier racing.
Her daughter was working in England at the time and had seen terrier racing there.

Pam’s neighbour and friend Sally Officer was recruited to help, and the first event was held on the Hamilton’s Kaikino Station airstrip on Melbourne Cup Day 2006. It was a huge success, attracting more than 150 people and 55 terrier dogs, and a national television camera.

That first year, after purchasing a new computer for Ozanam House, the balance of the raised funds, $7000, went to the East Coast Breast Cancer Fund. This had been set up by Anne Tolley to help fund the new drug Herceptin, which had been shown to improve the survival rate of Her2 breast cancer patients if taken for 12 months in the early stages of treatment. Pharmac was only funding a nine-week course, when many other countries were funding 12 months.

By popular demand, the women decided to hold another terrier race day the following year, this time closer to town at the Bushmere Polo Grounds — where they doubled the amount raised. By then Jennie Law had slotted in as a much-needed secretary and Nicky Hansen as the “foodie”.

Things snowballed from there, with numbers continuing to grow and the venue moved to Showgrounds Park.

With Herceptin-funded ‘packs’ were born

When Herceptin became funded after John Key took office, the women decided they could do more for local women if they managed their own funds.

In 2008, they changed race day to a Sunday to attract more people and make it a family day.

That year they donated six new leather La-Z-Boy chairs and five portable DVD players to the day ward where chemotherapy treatments are carried out.

They opened a bank account hastily named Terrier Race Against Time, and later registered that name to become a charitable trust in January 2009.

Around this time, Carol’s idea of an information pack for local people diagnosed with breast cancer was coming to fruition. She said she was given so much information at the time of diagnosis that it would be useful to have a satchel to keep it all in.

“By then we had some money in the kitty so could provide more than information and books in the satchel, we would include vouchers to be redeemed at local businesses,” Ms Stovell says.

The packs were born and this is where most of what people help raise is spent.

The first packs were valued at $500 and that has risen to more than $850 each.

“Every person diagnosed with breast cancer in the wider Gisborne area receives one of our packs shortly after diagnosis.”
More than 50 women are diagnosed with breast cancer locally each year.

In 2010 Pam’s friends Jools and Linda Topp, aka the Topp Twins, agreed to come to the party after Jools’ own battle with breast cancer, making for a bigger event than ever. It attracted over 650 people, despite wet weather, and was another huge success raising $23,000.

Now dames, this is the fourth time the Topp Twins are entertaining at the event.

All the money raised stays in this district, says Pam. That year Fran Gibson stepped in to replace Nicky Hansen on the committee.

These days numbers average 1000 people through the gate, and more than 120 terriers.

Ms Stovell said the committee was contributing $10,000 to the new Medical Day Unit at Gisborne Hospital in the form of artwork/partitions between the treatment cubicles.

“We are working with artist Nick Tupara finalising designs.”

There have been changes at the venue also.

“Large poplar trees have been removed this year from the area we use, leaving it quite bare. We were in the process of purchasing more tents to accommodate our tables of 10, so went for bright striped ones to add to the atmosphere.”
Because of the lack of trees in the area now, she cautions people to come prepared for the sun.

The growing band of women who make up the Terrier Race Against Time crew donate all their time and energy into organising it, so that 100 percent of the money raised is used to support other women going through the breast cancer battle. No administration fees are taken out.

Last year Rosie Spence joined the crew and they are expecting the event to be bigger than ever this year.

The primary focus of Terrier Race Against Time is to fund and supply the information packs to every person diagnosed with breast cancer in the Gisborne area.

The packs, in a sturdy satchel, contain $550 worth of vouchers for services such as gardening, lawn-mowing, massage, health products, home help, firewood, exercise programmes and many more; plus a $100 petrol voucher, a pedometer, and several self-help books, along with information sheets on cancer-related subjects and support groups.

“Most of our sponsors and voluntary helpers have been with us for the entire 12 years, and the Topp Twins have become a loyal side-kick,” said Ms Stovell.

“We are indebted to Neville Clarke for his 12 years of championing our cause; it would be quite a different day without his special brand of humour.”

After years of rallying her friends together to support the fund-raising days, Jackie Williams was named patron in 2013.

Each year $40,000 is required to fund packs, so the fund-raising is constant.

“Come along next Sunday, 25th November, have fun, bid enthusiastically and please take note of our sponsors and support them as they support us.”

  • Pre-sold tickets are $30 and available from Farmlands, Palembang, Sean Shivnan Pharmacy and Wainui Store.
  • Gate sales — Adults $35, children $5 and under 5s free; $5 to register a dog.

Blown away by what was in her ‘cancer pack’

Gisborne woman Gina Samson is ever grateful to the Terrier Races for providing support when she needed it most.

“Being diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram a few months ago sent me reeling, to say the least,” she says.

“I had had no pain, no lumps and no family history, so there were a lot of mixed feelings, thoughts and ‘what ifs’ that started to go through my head.

“My follow-up appointment at Gisborne Hospital was quick and everyone I dealt with was compassionate, professional
and understanding.”

On her first visit, Gina was given a “cancer pack” full of reference material, a diary and cancer contacts.

“What really blew me away though was what else was included in this pack.”

It was a sum of vouchers that could be used at a large number of businesses in Gisborne and up the Coast for items such as haircuts, massages, health products and home services.

“These vouchers are as a result of funds raised from the biennial Terrier Races held in Gisborne.

“I was overwhelmed to think that people I didn’t even know were raising money for strangers like me in a time of need.

“Each time I have used the vouchers, I have been given a real lift — which on the rollercoaster journey that cancer is, is really powerfully heart-warming,” Gina said.

“I cannot say thank you enough to everyone involved in the Terrier Races. From the amazing organising committee, to race goers, to supporting businesses, please know that by your generosity you have truly made a difference to me and my journey with breast cancer.

“Gisborne is such an amazing community and it is heartening to know that people still ‘pay it forward’ for others.”

The Terrier Races was a wonderful way to support breast cancer sufferers in the community, she said.

“From someone on the receiving end, the resulting vouchers really have made a difference so thank you so much. I hope everyone gets along to the races again this year on November 25 and supports such a worthwhile cause.

“As my journey continues, it gives me great pleasure to be able to write this recommendation for an event that is truly making a difference in our community.”

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