An Introduction From The CEO
At the Community Clubs Association of Victoria Awards night on October 15, Tabcorp Park was a finalist in the Victorian Club of the Year which is great credit to the venue staff. Congratulations go to the winner, Buckleys Entertainment Centre in Geelong.
HRV Annual Report
The HRV Annual Report for 2012/13 was tabled in Parliament on October 16. Click here for the Premier and Minister for Racing’s press release which coincided with the tabling.
Chris Alford – Children’s Tumour Foundation
The dust has now settled on the Charity Football Match recently held at Melton. The industry got behind the day which was a fundraiser for Chris Alford’s charity, the Children’s Tumour Foundation (CTF).
As we know Chris’ daughter Katie suffers from NF, a tumour related disease and the Alford family have been great supporters of the Foundation.
With the support of the Harness Racing Industry Chris and Alison Alford have raised over $85,000 for NF since Katie’s diagnosis – a fantastic achievement.
Congratulations go to them both, and HRV will continue to support their efforts in raising awareness of NF.
As an unfortunate post script to the football match, Chris suffered an injury in a crunching tackle and missed three weeks in the sulky, which only slightly delayed his quest for 5,000 winners (currently 4,986).
The harness.org.au website continues its extraordinary growth.
For the month of August 2013, the website attracted 780,000 visits, compared to 690,000 last August, a rise of 13%.
Most popular area visited remains “Fields” with 440,000 visits (up 15%) followed by “Results” 195,000 (up 15%).
Mobile usage of the site for August was 46,000 visits, up from 25,000 the previous August.
The HRV Facebook page has over 3000 “Likes” – 80% from within Australia. Brazil is 7th on the list with 16 people liking our page.
The Old and the New
There cannot possibly be any other sport where the age range of participants who can succeed at the highest level is so varied and where gender is no barrier.
Our sport has been infiltrated by young people in recent years.
If you take a look at the premiership lists for the 2013/14 season so far, you will see youngsters such as Greg Sugars, Emma Stewart, Nathan Jack, Amy Tubbs, Matthew Craven, Kate Gath, Josh Duggan, Jason Lee, Michael Stanley, all at the top of the tree.
Yet only recently, horses driven by Matt Donaldson, Dick Lee and Brian Gath filled the trifecta in a race at Bendigo, with combined ages of 226!
Male, female, young or old all compete on an equal basis in our great industry.
Harness Review – 20 Years
Mid October signified the 20 year anniversary of the popular radio show Harness Review.
Congratulations to evergreen Len Baker who has been with the show since its inception.
Well done also to long time co-hosts such as Clinton Welsh, Brian Dobson and Alexandra Hurley as well as a band of regular contributors, including our own Craig Rail.
The show has a loyal band of followers on Melton 979fm from 8pm to 10pm every Monday night. The internet now takes the show to a wider audience.
Well done to Len and the team!
Peter had a long association with HRV, predominantly as a representative for Radio 3UZ and in later years for Sky Racing.
He was a hail and hearty character well known across the industry. Sadly Peter passed away in September.
Apart from his infectious nature, Peter was top of mind with many of HRV’s corporate supporters. About five years ago, when driving in the annual Go Kart Day, Peter suffered a massive heart attack, and was clinically dead for some time.
As a result of several people’s efforts Peter was miraculously brought back to life and we were able to see his smiling face for a few more years.
HRV and the Pegasus Club were represented at the funeral.
Dick was one of trotting’s most colourful characters. He passed away in late September at the age of 90.
He was a prominent trainer during the Showgrounds era with several top line horses including Grand Monarch, Rich Dale and Sandy Spring.
HRV Legend Gordon Rothacker drove for Collinson.
Away from the trots, Dick was a keen Bulldog fan and was President of Footscray between 1974 and 1978.
Bill passed away on September 20, at the age of 75.
The Lanyon family have been publishers of newspapers for generations, most particularly in the Mildura region. They have been supporters of the trots industry over a long period.
Our condolences go to Bill’s son Ross who continues the family tradition with the Sunraysia Daily and ownership of pacers. Ross is also Chairman of Country Racing Victoria.
Did You Know
Congratulations go to Tabcorp Park employee Kathleen Mullan, who managed to get her former pacing racehorse MF Hollywood through to the prestigious Garryowen final during the Royal Melbourne Show.
Affectionately known as “James,” he became the first ever standardbred to make it through to the Garryowen. Kathleen and James performed with distinction before a large and enthusiastic crowd.