The 2022 SENZ Cadet of the Year winner will soon be crowned.
The final stage of the competition is upon us with the four finalists excelling in all of their regional challenges. They will now battle it out for the right to call themselves the SENZ Cadet of the Year.
Representing Canterbury is the regional winner Carter Dalgety and runner-up Tom Bamford. Travelling up from the deep south to contest the title is the Southern regional winner Oliver Kite and the Northern regional winner Zev Meredith will also make the trip down.
All four finalists have displayed a comprehensive range of skills in their horsemanship, driving and all-round general knowledge to set the stage for an exciting and competitive final.
The final competition has been designed to call on not only the contestant’s equine knowledge but to also challenge the finalists in a diverse range of practical, theoretical, and technical tasks. Each phase of the competition will be evaluated and marked, and the Cadets will earn points for each task based on performance, accuracy, and speed.
The final will be held throughout Christchurch on Wednesday the 7th of December.
The winner will be announced at the 2023 Annual Harness Racing Awards Function on March 4.
But first we thought you would like some insights into the four finalists and find out what makes them click.
How did you get into harness racing?
Ollie: I saw the jog frame going around the track over the back fence from home at Tony Barron’s when he lived down south. So I asked if I could help out in weekends and holidays and thankfully, he said yes, and it just went from there.
Zev: Misbehaving at school so got into Kidz Kartz through the neighbour working at the Pukekohe track.
Carter: From what I believe I was born at the hospital, brought home, and was put straight into the sulky. It’s deep in my blood on both sides of the family.
Tom: Grandfather was a hobby trainer. I would always go to the races with Dad then I finished school and went to Uni for a year and hated that and the rest is history.
Your proudest moment in racing so far?
Ollie: My proudest moment would have to be winning my first race (Barika at Winton, Sept 10, 2020).
Zev: Third in the Junior Driver Champs.
Carter: Winning on Krug in a race named in honour of my Grandfather Jim.
Tom: Winning my first race and my dad and sister were there to see it (Lavra Segil, Addington May 17, 2022).
What’s the ultimate goal?
Ollie: To try and have a good crack as a junior driver and try look at opening up to the training ranks later on.
Zev: Win a New Zealand Cup.
Carter: Win a New Zealand Cup.
Tom: Group 1, everyone wants to win one either training or driving.
Why do you think you have got what it takes to win Cadet of the year?
Ollie: Because I have competed in it before which will hopefully give me a bit of an advantage.
Zev: Plenty of determination and very competitive.
Carter: My only hope would be to try bribe the judges with some chocolate and wine or something
Tom: I think the competitiveness in me will carry me a long way, 2nd is the first loser!
Best horse you have seen?
Zev: Sundees Son
Carter: King Of Swing in the flesh, Bulldog Hanover from afar
Tom: Sundees Son, he is just a freak!
Favourite sports team?
Ollie: All Blacks
Zev: Red Bull V8 Racing
Tom: All Blacks
Who’s your celebrity crush?
Ollie: Kylie Jenner
Zev: Mila Kunis
Carter: Megan Fox
Tom: Margot Robbie
Best place you have visited?
Ollie: Gold Coast
Zev: Kaikoura or Morton Island in Australia
Carter: Las Vegas
Tom: I love Melbourne
Tell us something few people know about you?
Ollie: I have two sisters
Zev: I am pretty open about everything in my life, so I don’t really know
Carter: Gold medal Judo fighter in Canterbury and Silver in South Island
Tom: I was born in Brunei and lived there until I was 10
What would you like to do better?
Ollie: Just keep improving to be the best I can
Zev: Control my bad language
Carter: Make more money with my head rather than my hands
Tom: Be better at backing myself, I often doubt myself!
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