IRT’s emergence as one of the biggest sponsors in Australasian racing has been reaffirmed with the announcement they will sponsor the iconic New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington Raceway for the next two years.

International Racehorse Transport has long been a trusted and respected name in the equine world and major race sponsorship is nothing new to them. But IRT Director Richard Cole has taken that to new levels in recent seasons supporting elite harness races like the Inter Dominion and the Harness Jewels as well as this season’s New Zealand Trotting Cup.

It is New Zealand’s most iconic race of any code, famously held at Addington on the second Tuesday in November, and for 2021 and 2022 it will carry the IRT name again.

“The IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup Day is harness racing’s most prestigious race day and is often considered a ‘National Treasure’ to our country,” says Cole.

“IRT are honoured to be announced as the naming rights sponsor and principal partner for a further two years. Our continued sponsorship of the Cup signifies our strong support and dedication to the harness racing industry. Partnering with the Addington Raceway aligns perfectly with our shared values of equine welfare, innovation, and passion for the industry. Together with Addington Raceway, we look forward to flying the IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup Day to even greater heights.”

Addington Chief Executive, Brian Thompson, was thrilled the partnership between New Zealand’s home of harness racing and IRT could continue to grow. “We are excited that Richard Cole and the team at IRT have continued to sponsor the NZ Trotting Cup for 2021 and 2022. They have been huge supporters of the industry and Addington Raceway for many years, so it’s great to see the biggest global horse freighting company involved with the industry’s biggest race,” said Thompson.

“Sharing this extraordinary event with IRT is something we are really looking forward to. We can’t wait to share our plans with everyone. Follow our social media platforms to keep up to date with the launch of tickets and all the news around IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup Day 2021.”

Defending champion Self Assured is expected back for the Cup this November alongside northern superstar Copy That and an emerging group of pacers that will elevate the IRT NZ Cup to being the strongest harness race in Australasia.