Day At The Track

Growing 'younger' demographic important

10:00 AM 22 Oct 2019 NZDT
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Harness racing
HRV Trots Media

Growing the “younger demographic” will help to fortify the Victorian breeding industry’s future, says newly sworn-in Harness Breeders Victoria (HBV) president Nick Hooper.

Hooper takes the HBV reins from outgoing president Terry Lewis, who will stay on as vice-president, alongside fellow committee members Elizabeth MacLean, Dr Kath McIntosh, Steve Dickson, Brett Coffey, Jess Tubbs, Mark Hughes, John Campbell and Les Joslin.

“We are pleased to have a number of younger breeders on the committee and I would like to see this demographic increase amongst our membership and on the committee over time,” Hooper said.

“All of our younger participants should have a broodmare or two, as without the efforts of everyone in the industry we risk further decline in the foal crop.”

Hooper’s involvement in the harness breeding scene dates back to the 1990s and a mare he raced in partnership with friends, Faraday Gold.

She was retired and threw a couple of winners in Wisemans Ferry and To Nova Scotia,

“It wasn’t until Gluteus Maximus (pictured below, driven by Amy Tubbs) retired that I was able to revisit the breeding world and over the last 7-8 years it has grown from one broodmare to now 10 and associated young stock,” Hooper said.

“I now have eight trotting broodmares in partnership with Paul Graydon and two pacing broodmares that I own outright.”

Hooper’s enthusiasm for the game is tangible, absolutely genuine. “I love the very personal aspects of breeding,” he says.

“Forming a relationship with the mare, meeting the new foal, they are somewhat like your children. The thrill of seeing them hit the track and have some success gives me great pride, whether you continue to race them or not. This is what motivates me to breed.”

Hooper said HBV would continue the important ground made under Lewis' guidance in working with Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) to secure the breeding industry “targeted government funding”.

“The key aims for the HBV committee are to improve the financial returns to breeders so that not only current and former breeders extend their operations, but also so new breeders are enticed into the game,” he said.

Meanwhile, HBV also held its annual awards function, the IRT Victorian Breeders Awards, at the weekend with the following winners announced:

  • Niota Bloodstock Victorian Trotting Broodmare of the Year: Insulated (Wayne Schulze and Dale Eastman).
  • Benstud Victorian Pacing Broodmare of the Year: Aston Villa (Lauriston Bloodstock).
  • Ian Daff Memorial for tenured service and contribution to the Victorian breeding industry: The Judd family.
  • Ultimate Machete @ Alabar 2YO Sire of the Year: Somebeachsomewhere (Empire Stallions)
  • Ultimate Machete @ Alabar 3YO Sire of the Year: Art Major (Alabar)
  • Australasian Standardbred Guide 2YO Trotting Sire of the Year: Angus Hall (Global Stallion Management).
  • Australasian Standardbred Guide 3YO Trotting Sire of the Year: Skyvalley (Aldebaran Park).
  • Age Group Championship Trophies: Jaxnme (Graeme Love), Is That A Bid (David Scott), Royal Charlotte (Gerard Moloney), Alpha Male (Wayne Schulze and Dale Eastman), Pantzup (Dr Alison Miles), Moonlight Dream (Michael Fryar and Dennis Foley), Big Jack Hammer (Terry Forster and Heather Lyttleton), Maajida (Les Johnson), Jaspervellabeach (Aldebaran Lodge), Kualoa (Bruce and Vicki Edward), Lochinvar Art (Dan Cordina), Carlas Pixel (Robert Watson) and Poster Boy (Lauriston Bloodstock).
  • APTS High Earner Trophy: Chris Lang Jr and Haley Lang.
  • APG Melbourne Sales High Earner Trophy: Durham Park.


Cody Winnell

HRV Trots Media

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