There will be no love lost between Queensland's top young harness racing drivers and their New South Wales counterparts when they go head to head in the inaugural Young Drivers State of Origin Series later this month.
The Queensland team of Peter McMullen,, Trent Moffatt, and Amy Rees will travel to Menangle for the series opener on August 26 before returning to their home turf at Albion Park on August 29.
The joint initiative between Racing Queensland and Harness Racing New South Wales was the brainchild of outgoing Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Kevin Seymour AM.
Racing Queensland Chief Executive Darren Condon said the state had some outstanding talent in its junior ranks and the six-race series would provide invaluable experience for both teams.
"To take these young drivers down to New South Wales and compete at a venue like Menangle is an experience they could well have had to wait many years for and this series gives them the opportunity to do it now," Mr Condon said.
"Being able to compete on different tracks against the best young drivers in other states does wonders for a young driver's confidence, but they can also build a network in another state that could open up opportunities for them in the future.
"Harness Racing certainly has a high rate of younger participants in Queensland and we are proud to able to give the Young Guns this opportunity and be part of such a great initiative."
The New South Wales team consists of, , Kasey Hocking, and Todd Prest.
Harness Racing NSW Chief Executive Sam Nati said providing opportunities like this for the young participants in his state is vital for the future of the sport.
"We are all acutely aware of the need to nurture the next generation of trainers and drivers, "Mr Nati said.
"Giving them the opportunity to participate in showcase events such as this not only provides a great incentive, but just as importantly, valuable learning opportunities.
"Additionally it's very satisfying to achieve an outcome with another state controlling body which is mutually beneficial to our respective longer term objectives."
Racing Queensland and Harness Racing NSW have confirmed a boost to the prize pool for the six races with each worth $10,000.
New South Wales will launch the series with three races scheduled on Tuesday 26 August at Menangle, with the Queensland final scheduled for Friday 29 August at Albion Park.
For further information please contact:
Queensland Lucy McIntosh (Brand Manager - Harness, Racing Queensland) 0457 743 908
New South Wales Sam Nati (CEO - Harness Racing NSW) 02 9722 6600