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Well known harness racing trainer Robbie Holmes has been sidelined after a young horse lashed out and kicked him yesterday. Robbie waited all day at Christchurch Hospital for surgery to a broken hand but by late afternoon he was sent home due to time constraints with other surgery. He is due to go back in tomorrow morning for another attempt to reset his hand. Robbie was philosophical about the injury when speaking to Harnesslink this evening. " These things are sent to try us at times." " The top of the hand and the thumb got bent backwards so it was really painful when it happened." " I won't be much help round here for a while," Robbie said. Robbie was really looking forward to driving Saturday night, especially his wayward trotter, Willie Shine. "  He went super last Wednesday at the trials where he stepped and ran them along and won easily." " If he steps on Saturday night I think he will be hard to beat," Robbie said. Working with horses always has its risks but it is still something everybody is aware of especially around young horses. Regardless of how careful you are there are times where trainers have little control over accidents such as the one Robbie has just had. Here at Harnesslink we wish Robbie a speedy recovery and hope the surgery tomorrow goes well. Harnesslink Media

Harness racing followers on both sides of the Tasman were in shock this afternoon when the news came through that champion mare Adore Me had been retired. Just a week after her brilliant 1:47.7 performance at Menangle, the daughter of Bettors Delight has succumbed to an injury suffered in the Auckland Cup on Friday night. When she faulted and galloped for a few strides at the 450 metres, everyone feared the worst at first, but were relieved when the vet exam suggested just some minor filling in her near foreleg. However, an x-ray yesterday confirmed she had fractured the sesamoid in her near foreleg and the prognosis for her racing future was not good. The decision was made fairly quickly to take no risks with Adore Me and her retirement then became a formality. Part-owner Paul Kenny was very philosophcial when Harnesslink spoke to him this afternoon. " She has given us so much enjoyment and it is sad it has to end like this," Kenny said. " She injuried herself with 450 metres to go the other night and still picked herself up and only went under by a head. " Mark wasn't happy with her yesterday, so he had her x-rayed and we found the fracture. " We got a second opinion this morning and that verified the orgional diagnosis, so the decision was made there and then to retire her. " At least she doesn't have to have an operation this way " She will be just be boxed for two months." The five-year-old goes to the breeding barn as one of the best racemares produced anywhere in the world. Her time last Sunday was the quickest recorded on a 7/8th sized track and she belongs to a very small and select group of mares worldwide who have broken 1:48. The winner of 26 races from just 36 starts, with seven placings and stakes of $1,677,032, gives you an idea of the quality of the mare. But what will be the enduring memory for most harness racing enthusiasts in Australasia is her record 1:47.7 mile. It was a display of power and speed rarely seen south of the equator and will live in the memory of all those lucky enough to have witnessed it. Harnesslink Media Auckland Cup  The 1:47.7 mile at Menangle  

Everybody involved in harness racing knows the dangers that are ever present when you are racing 500 kg horses at thirty miles a hour in very close proximity to each over. The margin for error is very small and a small  incident can turn into a major smash in a blink of the eye. Last night at Forbury Park in Dunedin in race three, Twitch who was racing in the parked position stumbled and fell with 500 metres to go which resulted in several runners directly behind her crashing into the resulting melee. The stewards report makes grim reading: "With approximately 550 metres to run Twitch(S McNally) which was racing in the parked position stumbled and fell dislodging Mr McNally from the sulky. As a result Rightaround(J Dunn), Real South(M Neilson), Russet Norkotah(K Cox), Eilean Shona(K Grant), Houdini(K Butt) Hez Only The Lonely(R McIlwrick) and Buscemi (R Jenkins) were all severely checked in this incident. Rightaround, Russet Norkotah, Eilean Shona, Hez Only The Lonely and Buscemi all lost their drivers during this incident. Following this race drivers R Jenkins, K Cox, R McIlwrick, S McNally and J Dunn were all examined by the on-course St John Paramedics and cleared to drive. Junior horsewoman K Grant was transported to Dunedin Hospital for further examination and x-rays of her hip region. A medical clearance is required prior to Ms Grant resuming driving. All the respective horses were examined by the club veterinarian with Twitch being the worst effected runner after suffering abrasions to the eye region which required further treatment. Buscemi and Hez Only The Lonely both suffered abrasions. Trainer J McDermott advised the Stewards that Twitch was now retired from racing as the mare is in foal. The only good thing to come out of last nights smash is the fact that it looks as though no driver or horse has been seriously hurt and for that we should be thankful. Harnesslink Media  

"When to Call the Vet" is one of five major topics in Equine Guelph's free, interactive, Lameness Lab tool, kindly sponsored by Zoetis. L earning to spot unsoundness is an important skill for horse owners to develop because the earlier you can detect lameness, the better you will be at maintaining the health and welfare of your trusty steed.   "We think that a visual approach to lameness will greatly help horse caregivers better understand the basics of lameness and how to recognize the signs of lameness in their horse," says Dr. Cathy Rae, equine Technical Services veterinarian for Zoetis. "This understanding can help them detect lameness earlier as well as guide them in knowing when to call their veterinarian." Dr. Ken Armstrong, equine veterinarian and partner of Halton Equine Veterinary Services, featured in the "When to Call the Vet" videos, further explains how vets identify and assess lameness. He also guides horse owners through how to prepare for a lameness exam including advice on teaching your horse to trot in hand. Dr. Nicola Cribb, assistant professor and equine surgeon at the University of Guelph, describes how changes in behaviour and a slightly unbalanced stride can be early warning signs before lameness becomes more obvious with signs such as a head bob or a leg hitching. Her video goes through a lameness checklist and helps you understand the zero to five Lameness Scale used by American Association of Equine Practitioners. Lameness Lab allows horse owners to test their knowledge with interactive diagrams of muscles, tendons, bones, joints and the hoof. The tool also goes through the causes and factors contributing to increased risk. Remember early detection is so important in the treatment of lameness. Contact your vet if you see swelling, lameness, shortened stride or any signs of pain in your horse. Finally, find out why Lameness Lab receives thousands of visits! Test your skill at detecting lameness in the video challenge which will take you through four different case assessments. Go to Equine Guelph's 'Toolbox' at www.EquineGuelph.ca and click on Lameness Lab. More interactive activities await in Journey through the Joints, another healthcare tool generously sponsored by Zoetis. Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.EquineGuelph.ca.  Story by:  Jackie Bellamy-Zions  

A horse trainer has told how he was at a harness-racing meeting on Friday night when his mother was fatally struck by a hit-run driver only a short distance away. Earlier, Betty McArthur, 84, had watched her son Mick Darling’s horses in two races on the program at Phoenix Park in Port Pirie. She was walking back to her car parked in its usual spot outside a friend’s house, in Grey Terrace, when she was hit by the vehicle about 9.30pm. This is only about 100 metres from the entrance to the trotting park – and Mr Darling was still at the track when he got the news that someone had been hit. “It was straight after race five,” a shocked Mr Darling told The Recorder Editor Greg Mayfield on Saturday afternoon at his home at Bungama on the outskirts of Port Pirie. He spoke just after police released the news that a suspected offender was being interviewed over the hit-run. Mr Darling said he had ”mind-boggling” support from the community after the tragedy. “You don’t know how many friends you have got,” he said. He said it would be difficult on Christmas Day with an empty seat being there for Mrs McArthur. “All Christmases are special,” he said. Mrs McArthur is a former president with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary and used to make dinners for drivers and trainers at the trotting track until a few years ago. She was a regular supplier of delicious nut rolls to a local delicatessen. Mr Darling agreed his mother was proud of him and always watched his horses go round the track. “I drove one horse in one race and another driver drove one of my other horses in the other race. They were the fourth and sixth races on the program and she watched them both,” he said. Mr Darling is president of the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club and president of the South Australian Country Harness Racing Clubs. “Mum and Dad had horses when we were kids. I originally raced her horses,” he said. “We went to school at Snowtown and Lochiel and shifted to Port Pirie for the last year of high school. “Mum didn’t work – looking after six kids was a big enough job.” It is not the first time that tragedy has truck the family. Mr Darling’s brother Robin died 17 years ago from an asthma attack. Later, Mr Darling’s mother remarried and became Mrs McArthur. “When she remarried there were 13 of us,” he said. “It was a big Christmas and a big day at tea-time. “Everyone knows her. She worked so hard for the trotting club. “She had been president of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary for eight or nine years. “She was inspired to do this by her two disabled grandchildren. One of them can’t speak, but recently had a long “conversation” on the phone with Mum’ and was laughing and smiling. “Because my wife and I are shifting to Moonta, Christmas celebrations were going to be at Moonta. “I asked my mother when she wanted to be picked up to travel to Moonta and she said she was going to drive down - at the age of 84 - but we would have driven her anyway.” He said his mother always attended the trotting meetings. “She was actually a life member of the harness racing club,” he said. “I suppose that indicates how much work she did for the club. “She always made nut roll for the delicatessen – one of her loves was cooking. “She was proud of all of us.” A 40-year-old Port Pirie man was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and render assistance at a collision, and leaving the scene of a collision.  He will be granted bail to appear in court at a later date. by Greg Mayfield Reprinted with permission of the http://www.busseltonmail.com.au/   Major Crash investigators continue to examine the circumstances surrounding the collision, and ask anyone that may have seen a dark-coloured Ford station wagon in the area to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au  

A French harness racing driver is in plaster and another suffering minor injuries after a freak head-on crash. Tony Le Beler and Charle Nivard were preparing their horses, Athos in April and Love Waltz, for a race in Cabourg when they failed to notice each other and spectacularly collided. The force of the impact was enough to disintergrate both sulkies, leaving the drivers writhing in pain on the track. Nivard suffered a wrist fracture and knee injury and had to be hospitalised. Rubbing salt into his wound, he was later deemed to have caused the accident and was suspended for a month. Le Beler escaped with minor injuries. "Accidents like that, it can happen. A moment of inattention. I didn't expect it at all," Le Beler said afterwards. Neither horses was injured. By Mat Mackay Reprinted with permission of The Daily Telegraph

Montreal, August 7 2014 – Yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture, Pierre Paradis, announced his intention to put forward a bill that would redefine animals in the Civil Code of Quebec and grant them the status of sentient beings. In order to proceed with this reform, Mr. Paradis reached an agreement with the Minister of Justice, Stéphanie Vallée. Mr. Paradis’ announcement comes in response to the Animals are not things manifesto, which was launched on January 22nd and has been signed by over 46 000 people. The manifesto, which is supported by theMontreal SPCA, calls for a reconsideration of the legal status of animals in the Civil Code of Quebec. Currently, our Civil Code considers animals to be moveable property, indistinguishable from a toaster or a chair. Under civil law, the act of hurting or abusing an animal is therefore tantamount to the destruction of property. The SPCA applauds Minister Paradis’ willingness to reform the legal status of animals. “Given the importance and complexity of this issue, as well as the fact that over 46 000 Quebec citizens have expressed their concern about it, it is crucial that public consultations take place before moving forward with a bill” said Me Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer and Campaigns Manager for the Montreal SPCA Animal Advocacy Department. “We feel that this is an opportunity to effect real change for animals in this province and for Quebec to become a leader in animal welfare instead of lagging behind.” Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or anitak@spca.com.

Wednesday night race card at Saratoga was marred by a bad looking accident that took place in the evening’s ninth race. Just past the three quarter pole, pocket sitting Rozewood (Billy Dobson) was starting to fade and appeared to go down to his knees, causing an ugly chain reaction that resulted in four drivers being unseated and four horses that did not finish. While all four horses were corralled without major incident, the extent of the injuries to the drivers involved is currently unknown. It appeared that Dobson and Brian Cross got the worst of it while Bruce Aldrich Jr.and Cory Stratton, who were also unseated, did appear to walk away without major injury. All drivers involved in the accident were transported to the local hospital. Further updates will follow in the coming days. Best wishes to all involved in the spill. To view the accident click here.     Live racing continues on Thursday night at Saratoga with a first post time of 7:05pm. by Mike Sardella  

North Island harness racing reinsman James Stormont and Todd Mitchell starred on Breakfast this morning and discussed the horrific crash they were involved in at Alexandra Park  last Friday. Also disscussed is the herroic act of Todd Mitchell in saving his friend and fellow driver. Here is a link to the news article  

Hamburg, NY---Tim Bojarski, President Upstate New York Harness Writers Association, reports, 'I was at ECMC last night to see harness racing driver Jack Flanigen.

In the third race here at Buffalo Raceway (Friday, July 12), a New York Sire Stake race worth $57,443, an accident involving four horses and harness racing drivers, sent drivers Jack Flanigen, and Ray Fisher, Jr., to the hospital after a bad spill at the top of the stretch.

A terrible crash at the Buffalo Raceway was captured on video.

Betterthancheddar, who finished eighth in the hotly-contested $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace Saturday night at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, has been retired from racing.

If you decide to drop a claim slip in with the judges, it's fair to say that you've done all your homework first. You've looked at pedigree; studied past performances; watched how the horse makes it around the oval for several weeks and generally have the feel that you can get him to be competitive in a higher class in rapid fashion.

Two Victorian harness racing horses have been rescued after becoming trapped in their float when it rolled in icy conditions north-west of Melbourne.

Queensland reinsman Bruce Birch is set to go under the knife. The New Zealand born harness racing horseman was left with a broken collarbone and three cracked ribs after a race fall at Albion Park when driving Gold Pay on December 1, 2012.

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