Gavin Cook Crowned World Amateur Champ
The 2008 World Cup of Amateur Racing came to a nail-biting end at Meadowlands on Wednesday, the 21st of May 2008. It is an event that lured twelve of the world’s best amateur drivers to the six days if racing, hosted at six different tracks, which included Yonkers, Balmoral, Maywood, Freehold and Monticello. It was a tough competition for all concerned, and the $25 000 trotting competition brought the out the best in everyone.
During the competition, David Siegel, representing the United States of America, was leading with the most accumulated points, but when it came down to the wire on Wednesday, his horse unfortunately broke stride, leaving him in last position in the race and in a third overall position in the championship. This gave Gavin Cook and Teddy Wang the opportunity to go head to head in the final racing event of the 2008 World Cup of Amateur Racing.
Gavin Cook from New Zealand and his seven year old mare, Kinetic Kid, received strong competition from Teddy Wang and his horse, Punk Man. But Kinetic Kid managed to break away from Punk Man to win by three quarters of a length. Fred Handelaar and Armbro Doug came in, in third place.
With Gavin Cook winning the final racing event, he was crowned the 2008 World Cup of Amateur Racing Champion. Cook, who sold his pizza empire to dedicate more time to being a breeder, trainer and driver in the harness racing community of New Zealand, also won the 2004 Canterbury Amateur Driving Championships and was the 2007 New Zealand Champion. He now tries to travel to as many racing events as he can, and enjoys every minute he has with his horses.
Other drivers who also supported the World Cup of Amateur Racing included Christian Mayr from Austria, Andreu Oliva Suau from Spain, Antonio Valente from Canada, Tama Kelemen from Hungary, Alle Loman from the Czech Republic, Bob Mellsop from Autralia and Bjorn Steinseth from Norway. Most importantly, the drivers enjoyed themselves. By being fierce competitors while on the track and building friendships once they hung up their silks, the drivers learnt from one another while taking part in a memorable racing event.