About us

Matamata Racing Club Inc was founded in 1919. The Matamata racecourse, comprising 158 acres just south of the Matamata township on State Highway 27, is the central focus of Matamata Racing Club. The club conducts about 14 race days per season, headed by the late summer Matamata Breeders’ Stakes, now established as one of New Zealand’s iconic provincial race meetings.

Complementing those race day activities, Matamata Racing Club has long been recognised as one of New Zealand’s most significant training centres. Around 60 trainers and more than 700 horses use the Matamata racecourse facilities daily, comprising grass, plough, sand and all-weather tracks, as well as a swimming pool, weighing scales and other modern aids including brand new four-stall jump- out gates.

Matamata trainers invariably play a leading role in the country’s major races as well as enjoying their share of success at Australian racing carnivals. Situated in the centre of New Zealand’s highest racehorse and breeding population, Matamata is blessed with skilled veterinarians, farriers, pre-trainers, horse breakers and the like, along with a full range of feed merchants, saddlers and equine transporters.

The Matamata township and district provides a true lifestyle choice with its cafes, Hobbiton tourist attraction and proximity to Bay of Plenty beaches, as well as being within easy reach of popular destinations Rotorua and Taupo, and major cities Auckland and Hamilton. Matamata is centrally located and famous for the Hobbiton Movie Set, with tours to the renowned attraction daily. Matamata is affectionally known as “Hobbiton” where you will find lots of activities to enjoy including golf, skydiving, mineral hot pools, gliding, walking, tramping and historical landmarks.

That central location also has significance for Matamata’s racing population, with no less than 10 racecourses no more than two hours’ drive away, and other provinces such as Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu also relatively close at hand.

In recent years Matamata Racing Club has undertaken a proactive programme of building stable accommodation on the course and renting it out, with the results enjoyed by resident trainers including Lance  O’Sullivan, Andrew Scott, Steve Autridge, Jamie Richards and Graham Richardson.

Matamata Racing Club’s facilities at the racecourse include two grandstands overlooking the main racetrack and the various training tracks, with the Kaimai Ranges providing a picturesque backdrop. On non-race days the various lounges and the racecourse itself are a popular venue for functions, large or small. Our lounges are suitable for weddings, anniversaries, conferences, rallies, music festivals and reunions. The lounges cater for 10 to 350 people. You can arrange your own caterer or we can arrange one for you. If you would like more details about the racecourse, please contact the office.