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A couple of former locals had plenty to say on their old home track at Sunday’s Ashburton Trotting Club meeting at the Ashburton Racecourse.
Terry Chmiel claimed the major prize of the day, the Winter Cup, with Secret Bet whom he trains alongside wife Glenys.
The three-year-old gelding defied his limited experience by beating a strong field of pacers in the feature event of the day – winning narrowly from a game Ardent Lustre with Kiwis Are Flying.
While Chmiel claimed the feature of the day, it was Johnny Morrison who set the tempo with a driving double, including a bold display on outsider, Nanelle Franco.
New Zealand’s leading junior driver and now a certainty to win the premiership with only a couple of weeks to go, was in sublime form.
Morrison clicked early in the day with the showy chestnut Only In America for Mike De Filippi after finding the front early and then taking a trail.
The big pacer then unleashed down centre track to register win one for the career with style.
Morrison was back in the action a little later on in the programme when Nanelle Franco found the front in the fillies and mares mobile and never looked back, bolting away for a big win in a very fast time.
“She was a bit keen, so I thought I’d let her roll,” he said.
“She just kept going.
“I had a look over the shoulder at the top of the straight and they were a long way back from us and every time I asked her to find a bit she kept going.
“It was pretty impressive really.”
The double took Morrison to 98 career wins, 61 of them coming this season – enhancing his chances of picking up the milestone of 100 before the season is over.
© The Ashburton Guardian - 15 July 2019
Where Mid Canterbury students attend secondary school in the future will be determined by clearly defined zones.
Mount Hutt College already has a zone in place and Ashburton College is now in the process of establishing its own zone that will come into play when the school roll hits 1350.
Currently there are a number of students who are travelling to schools that are outside what are likely to be the new zone boundaries and that can continue until the roll cap at either school is reached, Ashburton College principal Ross Preece said.
In drawing proposed zone boundaries, he said the college had worked as near as possible to natural district boundaries – the Rakaia and Rangitata rivers with the existing Mount Hutt College zone boundary used in the west.
The college had also requested the MInistry of Education take the zone as close as possible to the school’s transport entitlement zone, Preece said.
In the draft there were minor changes in two areas along the Rangitata River, with a sliver of land towards the coast now becoming part of the college zone and another around Carew-Peel Forest School that would be within the Geraldine High zone.
The zone will also include an area in Rakaia that is part of the Ellesmere College zone
The college’s roll is at 1200, with students from across the district attending.
This could continue until the 1350 cap was reached and that was likely to be around 2022, Preece said.
“That’s where the rubber will meet the road as we can currently take all students, but there’s no great sense of panic. Over the next few years we can still take anyone who wants to attend the college.”
Establishing a zone made sense, he said, and a roll cap made it easier to plan longer term.
A bubble in Year 8 student numbers would boost the roll next year, but Year 7 had smaller numbers and that again would impact on the college roll.
Those factors, combined with the mobility of families for work reasons, made it difficult to know exactly when zone rules would be enacted, he said.
The zone, however, will be in place by the end of this year.
All contributing schools will be contacted as part of the consultation process and information is available on the college website and hard copy maps are available at the college office.
By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 13 July 2019
Five former Ashburton College friends are teaming up to ride 1400km along the banks of the Rhine river to celebrate their 60th birthdays.
The 16-day trip starts in the Swiss Alps at the source of the river and finishes in the Netherlands, where the river empties into the North Sea.
The students, who went to college in the 1970s, include Ashburton couple Alan and Jenny Dowdle, Christchurch couple John and Ruth Gamblin (John is Jenny’s brother) and Invercargill man Peter Gallagher.
Peter’s sister Anne, who did not go to college, will also join the cycle party, which leaves for Europe at the end of the month.
Jenny said the group had remained firm friends since their school days 45 years ago.
The five went to Ashburton College but also were connected through the Ashburton Intermediate, where Peter’s father and John and Jenny’s father were teachers.
Five years ago they began talking about ways to mark the 60th birthdays of Alan, John and Peter and, as cycling enthusiasts, they eventually decided on the Velo15, an organised cycle tour along the length of the Rhine.
There are 14 cycle days, with some of the legs up to 125km.
Jenny said the group had taken part in the Grape Ride last year and had a lot of fun.
They were looking forward to cycling through four countries – Switzerland, Germany, France and the Netherlands – and sampling the local foods and cultures on this trip.
The tour company has organised their accommodation and will carry their large bags. The cyclists will wear day packs.
Jenny said Europe had been baking in a heatwave recently, with temperatures of up to 40ºC and she was hoping for cooler temperatures.
While she is fit, she is the least experienced cyclist in the group and is not looking forward to a “screaming descent” in the first stage.
The Ashburton couple are taking hybrid bikes (a road bike/mountainbike cross) for the journey, which is mostly on sealed pathways.
“It will be a really good social time and a great way to see the different countries.”
Peter said the close friends might now live in different towns, but they still got together to hang out regularly.
Jenny now works at the college where they met.
By Linda Clarke © The Ashburton Guardian - 12 July 2019