Day At The Track

Rehoming program part of Cup event

06:32 PM 18 Apr 2018 NZST
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Waikare Aristocrat
Retired trotter Waikare Aristocrat, pictured, will join former pacer Kenny Trickem at Horsham Harness Racing Club’s cup meeting on Sunday as part of a Pat Your HERO program.

The life of a standardbred horse after harness racing commitments will take centre stage at Horsham Harness Racing Club's 2018 Pacing Cup meeting on Sunday.

Nine-time winning pacer Kenny Trickem and former accomplished trotter Waikare Aristocrat have made a seamless transition to a new career under saddle and will appear at The Weekly Advertiser Pacing Cup celebration as ambassadors for Harness Racing Victoria's Harness Education and Rehoming, HERO, program.

Cup patrons will have an up-close-and-personal opportunity to meet both horses as part of a new promotion called 'Pat Your HERO'.

Waikare Aristocrat, 'Toff', has been involved with HERO since its inception. The 10-year-old trotting-bred gelding notched 15 wins for $124,160 in stakes from 69 race starts and worked his way down to metropolitan class before retiring in July 2015. He now regularly attends country cup and feature race meetings.

HERO program manager Tanya McDermott, whose family bred and raced the son of Safely Kept, said the gelding thrived on human attention and demonstrated the renowned standardbred temperament

"Toff is a people horse but has a special affinity with children," she said.

"He likes nothing better than getting out and about and has travelled to all parts of the state to promote HERO.

"He is also an accomplished show performer and enjoys trail and recreational rides. When he's not working for HERO, he is an excellent nanny, babysitting his yearling niece."

The other HERO horse in Horsham, Kenny Trickem, was a favourite of trainer Luke Bryant's stable and has recently completed his re-education for riding under the care of Warren Cochrane at Cobe Lodge.

Ms McDermott said Kenny Trickem, the son of Stonebridge Regal, last raced in September 2017 and was now available for sale to a loving forever home.

She added that the horse had a magnificent nature and was 'very' laid back under saddle.

"Kenny is a gem. His racing owners were passionate about finding him the perfect life after racing opportunity and he will be the ultimate trail-riding companion for his new owner," she said. "He is so entirely relaxed and loves to get out in the bush. Not much happens in a rush in Kenny's world, he epitomises the standardbred temperament we all love."

Now in its third year, HERO is designed to create positive pathways for standardbred horses exiting racing, catering for horses that had ended their career and others that fail to make it to the track.

"HERO works directly with the harness-racing industry, its breeders, owners, trainers and drivers," Ms McDermott said. "The program's focus is the facilitation of opportunities for standardbreds to transition from training to appropriate long-term retirement homes, primarily as ridden or pleasure harness horses.

"Since HERO's inception, the support from all sectors of the harness-racing community has been extraordinary, not only those involved with the hands-on care and training of horses, but also sponsors, administrators and the like.

"As a result, more standardbreds than ever before are placed into loving life after racing homes, which is a very satisfying outcome.

"With the financial support of both HRV and the State Government via the Victorian Racing Industry Fund, we are providing tangible financial and practical support for retrainers and heightening the profile of standardbreds who make amazing pleasure horses after their racing life has concluded."

People seeking further information about the HERO program can visit www.hrvhero.com.au, email hrvhero@hrv.org.au or phone 0407 413 156 during business hours.
 

TANYA McDERMOTT

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