From the CEO's Desk - Volume 38 - February 2014

01:20 AM 14 Feb 2014 NZDT
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HRV CEO John Anderson
HRV CEO John Anderson

An Introduction From The CEO

A very successful Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup Carnival has concluded with a big crowd attending and strong growth in wagering turnover. Click here for a highlights package of Hunter Cup night.

Some exciting news is imminent with our next major event, the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star on March 22.

Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews

Stakes Rises

I am pleased to confirm that the second phase of stakes rises for the year will come into effect on March 1. A summary of the main changes:

The minimum career penalty stake will rise to $6,000 (a 20% rise this year);

A payment of $115 (which includes the driver's fee of $65 will be added to the stake for horses which finish between sixth and last);

Metropolitan class minimum stake will rise to $17,000 for M1 or better and $16,000 for M0;

With effect from July 1, the Vicbred first win bonus will rise to $7,000 for two and three-year-olds.

Other stakes rises previously announced on September 1, 2013 remain in force.

Fires

The past week has been a tough one for many participants, with serious fires burning through several regions of country Victoria.

Several of those regions housed industry people. In particular the areas of Riddells Creek, Kilmore and the Goulburn Valley were severely threatened by raging fires.

HRV was monitoring the course of the fires and the likely impacts. I am pleased to say that quick action by the authorities and many in the industry meant no loss of life and minimal loss of livestock. However there has been significant damage reported to properties.

Some of the areas which were closely monitored:

In the Riddells Creek fires several trainers/owners in the area were forced to relocate horses as the fires headed in their direction.

HRV's own Craig Rail was evacuated as the fires were close by.Apart from damage to his property his house remains intact.

In the Goulburn Valley, Warwick Stud was the worst affected with the loss of barns, fencing, stallion boxes and other buildings. HRV has been assisting in replacing infrastructure to get much needed water to the property. A number of trainers in the region suffered losses to sheds and fencing and HRV is currently assisting with replacement.

The local industry has responded in typical fashion and I know those affected have appreciated the extent of the industry's support.

The Kilmore area was under threat for several days. A special thanks to the Kilmore Club for acting as a temporary refuge for concerned members of the racing community. The Club provided stabling, food and water for a variety of animals, which I'm sure was appreciated.

A huge thank you goes out to the many fire fighters (including the helicopters) who fought so bravely to protect so many properties.

Teal for Ovarian Cancer Research

While on the subject of community action, the month of March will be a special one for the awareness of Ovarian Cancer.

Agreement has been reached for all Victorian female drivers to wear Teal coloured driving trousers, in support of the Ovarian Cancer Institute, for the entire month of March.

The initiative is being generously funded by Duncan McPherson OAM and Michael Taranto as part of the promotion of the Pryde's Easifeed Great Southern Star which is run in conjunction with the Women's Cancer Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Institute Girls Night Out.

Once again, it presents an opportunity for the industry to display its leadership in supporting community causes and messages that are so close to many people's hearts.

Well done to all the girls who are supporting this great initiative.

And while on the subject of the Great Southern Star stand by for an announcement of two highly recognised international identities who will play an ambassadorial role for the series. Major release scheduled for next week.

International Expansion

Over recent months there been some debate regarding the strategic importance of building international relationships and promoting the export of HRV product into overseas jurisdictions and vice versa.

In 2012/13 HRV generated more than $600,000 in International Rights Product Fees from the export of our product for wagering in overseas jurisdictions. For the first half of 2013/14 those International Rights Product Fees have increased by 68%, therefore HRV forecast generating in excess of $1 million in revenue from the export of our product this year.

When we consider that the French market wagered around AUD$300,000 into the win/place pools alone for the three Trotting races exported on Hunter Cup night, it's likely this forecast could grow even further.

In addition to exporting our product overseas, under these reciprocal arrangements, we've seen a recent expansion of product imported from Sweden and France into our own wagering market. Over the past few months this has resulted in $500,000 in harness wagering turnover on the Victorian tote, from which HRV derives direct revenue and market share benefit.

With further expansion planned, it's important the industry understands we operate in a global racing and wagering environment and strategically it is of significant value to our bottom line.

Josh Duggan - Victorian Representative

Josh Duggan has been selected to represent Victoria in this year's Australasian Young Drivers Championship to be run in conjunction with the 2014 Inter Dominion in Sydney.

Representatives from each State and the two New Zealand Islands will participate in a 10 race series in NSW from February 25, culminating in a final heat on Inter Dominion Grand Final Day.

It is always a great experience for the young drivers. HRV last won the Championship in 2012 when Ellen Tormey was successful in Perth.

We wish Josh well - seen here photographed receiving his Big V colours from Chairman, Ken Latta and Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Craig Ondarchie.

 

Milestones

Congratulations to Nathan Cahir who drove his 100th winner at Hamilton on January 29.

Young guns Matt Craven and Michael Stanley are within reach of 500 winners, both currently in the 480's.

Get Well Paul

Sad to hear of the severe injuries suffered by Paul Morrissey at his Bendigo property as a result of a training accident. Paul is currently in intensive care in Bendigo Base Hospital with broken bones and head and spinal injuries. We wish Paul a full recovery.

Vale

HRV passes on its condolences to members of the Jack family, many of whom are involved in the industry, on the passing of patriarch Robbie Jack. Robbie was a stalwart in the Riverina as a trainer, driver and administrator. He was 81.

Did You Know?

HRV will be honouring the retirement of champion Melpark Major this Saturday night, February 15 at Tabcorp Park Melton.

He will lead out the field for the Inter Dominion Heat with Amy Tubbs in the sulky.

Melpark Major won $980,000 in stakes, having won a Victoria Cup and a host of other feature races. He will enjoy retirement on owner Don Smith's Melton property.

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