Day At The Track

Horsham celebrates its strong season

06:30 PM 15 Oct 2017 NZDT
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Justin Lane, harness racing
Horsham and District Harness Racing Club president Justin Lane presents the Matt Craven Trainer of the Year award to Terry Lewis.

Horsham and District Harness Racing Club celebrated a successful year at Horsham Golf Club on Friday night. 

The annual dinner was accompanied by a presentation night, with Tony Logan as the emcee and club president Justin Lane presenting the awards. 

Harness Racing Victoria chief executive David Martin – formerly of Murtoa – was the event’s guest speaker.

Mr Lane said the club had a busy and pleasing year.

“From a racing point of view it was very successful,” he said. 

“On the night we highlighted a lot of initiatives we had put in place throughout the season.” 

Mr Lane said one of those initiatives included an owners’ precinct. 

“On Horsham Cup day, the owners had their own area where they would be entertained by the club and it was exclusive to them,” he said. 

“We also replaced all of the surface on the track. 

“Another highlight when we hosted a come and try information day for the Horsham Pony Club. 

“Kids came along and geared up for the trotter and pacer and had a tour of the track and facilities. They learnt what career paths you can take with us as well.” 

Mr Lane said every race meeting was a successful one. 

“I mentioned on the night we have shifted the month of the Horsham Cup to April, simply because we were finding it hard to draw crowds in January due to the weather,” he said. 

“It didn’t matter how we marketed it, we struggled to get a crowd. Trainers were also reluctant to travel their horses in temperatures of 30 to 40 degrees, so we felt the fields were hurting because of it as well.

“That is one of the things we are focused on going forward.”

Mr Lane said the club has reduced the stake money of the Horsham Cup and has decided to distribute the money across all fields. 

“It will be spread across all classes of horses,” he said. 

At the presentation night, Terry Lewis was awarded the Matt Craven Trainer of the Year.

Big Bruce was named Horse of the Year. 

Barry Dunn was awarded the Local Trainer of the Year.

Mr Lane said more than 50 people were in attendance.

“It was a great night to celebrate the season and to thank all the paid staff and volunteers for their efforts through the year,” he said. 

The Horsham and District Harness Club has been nominated for Harness Racing Victoria’s Country Club of the Year award.

The winner will be announced in Melbourne in two weeks.

“It is an honour to just be nominated,” Mr Lane said. 

“I think the nomination shows we have had a pretty big year on and off the track.” 

The story Club celebrates busy year first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.

By Elijah Macchia

Reprinted with permission of The Ararat Advertiser


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