Nor West News : March 15th 2012
www.aucklandnow.co.nz Thursday, March 15, 2012 Don't run for nothing. Your registration fee supports charity. Register now! www.roundthebays.co.nz Ports of Auckland Round the Bays Gutted horse shocks By CARYN WIGMORE THE butchered horse dumped near Kumeu is unlikely to be a Godfather- style revenge killing. Auckland Council has dis- missed claims of a criminal motive behind the discovery of a gutted thoroughbred near Riverhead Forest last Tuesday. It is understood the hooves and innards were removed from the 16-year-old bay gelding. There has been speculation the horse was slaughtered for horse meat or revenge. A famous Godfather movie scene involves a man waking up to find a bloodied horse head in his bed. There's a lot of conspiracy theories rolling around but it doesn't look like it is,'' a coun- cil spokeswoman says. Police would have got a call about a missing horse if it was a revenge kill, she says. Police are not investi- gating. The horse's offal was likely to have been removed else- where because it was easier to dispose of. The body was probably loaded into a trailer and dumped on the roadside, she says. It's a lot easier to bury the innards than a whole horse which is quite a large ani- mal.'' The council has removed and buried the horse. It could prosecute for the cost of the removal if the offender was found but any other matters are dealt with by police, the spokeswoman says. The horse breeder has been tracked down but neither the animal nor its owner has been identified. The council has appealed to nor-west residents to call (09) 301-0101 with any infor- mation about the horse slay- ing. Concerned residents have called the police because of fears it could happen again. But there have been no reports of stolen or missing horses, sergeant Mick Rickards says. TQ midget brothers battle neck-and-neck Speeding siblings: Scott and Ryan Baker of Waimauku swap stories after racing against each other at the national three-quarter midget grand prix 20-lap final at Western Springs Speedway. By CARYN WIGMORE Familiar scene: Western Springs Speedway is like a home away from home for the Baker family. Photo: JASON OXENHAM The Baker brothers stay close -- at home and on the track. Scott and Ryan of Wai- mauku are TQ midget drivers who thrive on hurt- ling neck-and-neck across the finish line at Western Springs Speedway. They have been chasing each other as first and sec- ond in latest races. Scott, an accountant aged 22, won gold and Ryan, 19, got silver at the New Zea- land TQ midget grand prix. Ryan edged out Scott to take the Auckland cham- pionship a fortnight later. Ryan, a university stu- dent, also won the Western Springs series final chased by his brother as runner-up. Well he'd rather be beaten by his brother than by anybody else,'' proud father Lawrence Baker says. Dad has been racing a TQ midget at Western Springs for more than 25 years. I tell them they have to go out there and play nicely,'' the 50-year-old says. It's no good taking each other out. They will race each other hard but gener- ally have respect for each other on the race track.'' The boys and 17-year-old sister Melissa, who also races, have grown up with the sport. Scott was only six days old when he was taken to the speedway to see his father compete. The infant seemed perfectly content sleeping amid the roar of engines. When the kids were big- ger they would just play up on the bank while the speed- way meeting was on,'' Law- rence says. The family has trekked around the country to speed- way tracks as far afield as Greymouth, Christchurch and Nelson. Father and sons have found the balance of good- natured competition. I've raced against the boys and they've beaten me but I've beaten them as well,'' Lawrence, the 1995 TQ midget Auckland cham- pion, says. That's the way it goes. There can only be one win- ner.'' The midgets are powered by 750cc motorcycle engines and can reach breakneck speeds of 130kmh. We've all rolled,'' Law- rence says. Scott escaped with slight concussion after crashing at Huntly speedway in 2008 and totalling the midget. His car hit the safety fence and came down on top of the concrete wall upside down.'' The crash failed to deter him. It hasn't slowed him down anyway.'' Serious injuries are rare because racers are protected by safety gear, roll cages and head restraints, says Law- rence, who works as a car restorer. It seemed a natural pro- gression for the diehard fan to adopt the sport. Always I'd gone and watched speedway and sort of joked with mates that I should get a car one day. And it just happened.'' Visit www.nor- westnews.co.nz to see the Baker boys race.
March 8th 2012
March 22nd 2012