NEWS | Auckland Racing Club and Counties Racing Club to proceed with merger

8 Jul 2021
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Auckland Racing Club and Counties Racing Club are to merge after members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the clubs amalgamating.


Counties Racing Club Chairman Mark Chitty with Auckland Racing Club (ARC) Chairman Doug Alderslade in ARC’s boardroom.


A new combined club named Auckland Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated (ATR) will be formed on 1 August 2021.

ARC members voted in favour of the merger at their Club’s Special General Meeting at Ellerslie Racecourse this afternoon. This followed CRC members also voting in support on Tuesday.

ARC Chair Doug Alderslade says the vote for amalgamation is a historic and exciting step for the thoroughbred racing community in Auckland.

“With this vote and a clear mandate from our members, we now have a solid foundation to create a financially viable, internationally recognised racing club for the Auckland region that delivers for all industry participants.

“Thank you to the members of both Auckland Racing Club and Counties Racing Club for supporting a vibrant, sustainable future for thoroughbred racing across the entire Auckland region.

“Crucially, the amalgamation will allow the new club to realise significant combined assets to be reinvested into the industry, and increase stakes.

“The status quo simply was not sustainable, and change was required. ARC and CRC undertook a comprehensive review, consultation process, and independent analysis – all of which made clear that the amalgamation is the best option for both clubs to not only survive but thrive.”

Counties Racing Club Chairman Mark Chitty says the merger is a game-changer for thoroughbred racing.

“This marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for our industry. ATR will be aiming to double average stakes money per race to $100,000 to retain industry participants and attract young people into the industry.

“We have an opportunity now to ensure that the next generation of trainers, owners, breeders, jockeys, and racegoers have a reason to stay involved in our sport locally, and in the long-term,” concluded Mr. Chitty.

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Detail of amalgamation

  • The two clubs will amalgamate into Auckland Thoroughbred Racing Incorporated (ATR) on 1 August 2021

  • The Transition Board will be made up of two ARC Board Members, two CRC Board Members and up to three independent Board Members

  • The Transition Board will make the required decisions about how the merger will be implemented and the makeup of ATR’s permanent board

  • The installation of a new StrathAyr track at Ellerslie is scheduled to begin in April next year, during which time the course will be temporarily closed

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