By MATT MARKHAM – South Canterbury
Last year’s New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Monkey King has helped line the pockets of many punters this year with an outstanding season on the race track, but now the speedster pacer is giving a little bit back.
A framed set of the harness racing great’s shoes have been framed and are up for auction on Trade Me with proceeds going to Cure Kids, which supports research into life-threatening childhood illnesses.
The idea came from Monkey King’s farrier Adam White. He and his sister, Abbe, have seen what was originally going to be a good deed for a friend grow into something much larger.
“Originally we thought about giving the money raised to a friend of Abbe’s who has a daughter who has cancer in her liver,” Adam White said.
“We then decided that Cure Kids would be the best option because we would hopefully be able to help a lot of kids.
“I was shoeing Monkey King one day and said to his trainer, Brendon Hill, that instead of just leaving these shoes lying around they should be put to good use, and he agreed.”
As the winner of last year’s New Zealand Cup and a host of other major races around New Zealand and Australia the popularity of Monkey King was never going to be too much of a problem.
With the help of Colin and Ayjay Berry, of Race Images, who did the framing and display of the shoes, White said the end result was fantastic.
“We have been very lucky in the fact that Colin and Ayjay were so keen to help us out, and to have the full support of everyone involved behind Monkey King as well.
“Everyone I have talked to has said how great it looks, and I think that has shown in the amount of interest in it already.”
The framed shoes, which also display a picture of Monkey King and details of his past season, have already reached almost $3000 on Trade Me with the auction due to close on Saturday.
White is hoping that over the last couple of days things may pick up again. “It’s hard to put a price on it really, it would be nice to see it go up some more because it is such a great cause, but you don’t really know how much interest for something like it is out there.”
The listing can be found in the sports section of the website under sports memorabilia.
Cure Kids, formerly the Child Health Research Foundation was established over 30 years ago.
With more than $25 million invested over that time the research has helped save hundreds of young lives and has improved the quality of life for thousands of children.