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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

Pakihi — (Run 452)

(Run 452)

Angus Macdonald, who had held the lower run since he and his brother dissolved partnership in 1865, died in 1890, after which his son named the station Pakihi. Angus Macdonald did not live there, but drove down day by day in an old Abbot buggy from Waitui.

After his death Mrs Macdonald kept on the station, which then consisted of about five thousand acres of freehold. The farm where the Hon. William Rolleston lived for many years was also a part of Angus Macdonald's original freehold.

Harry Ford, a well known owner and manager of stations in the old days, and afterwards the last manager of Lagmhor, managed Pakihi for several years until about 1896, when the greater part of it was sold. After Ford, B. R. Macdonald lived at Pakihi and managed what was left of the place. The family sold the last of it in 1916, and the homestead block now belongs to Bolderstone.

The first race meeting ever held in South Canterbury was arranged by the Macdonalds and the Studholmes of Waimate. It was held on April 1st, 1859, and the course was made among the tussocks almost exactly where the Geraldine racecourse is now. It was put there to be close to Stranks's accommodation house which stood close to the south end of the present railway bridge.

The first race of the day, a match for £50 a side, was page 137won by W. K. Macdonald's Niger, who beat M. Studholme's Sir Charles. Niger had Arab blood in him and must have had great stamina. He would carry Macdonald (who rode fourteen stone) from Orari to Christchurch, or even Lyttelton, in a day—a very good performance for a man and horse in the days when there were neither roads nor bridges.