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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.

Getthemoney was about to take the lead with a huge move on the outside when the trotter suddenly went down on the first turn at Monticello Raceway. It happened so quickly and violently that the harness racing drivers and horses behind Getthemoney had no chance of escaping the wreck.

Not even the loss of her regular driver, Bruce Aldrich, Jr., would prevent Tracy's Song, the winningest horse in all of pari-mutuel racing world-wide this year, from posting her 18th consecutive victory with a one and three-quarter length triumph Monday afternoon at Monticello Raceway.

Seven harness racing drivers were involved in a racing accident at Monticello Raceway on Monday afternoon.

Billy Davis Jr., who was involved in a racing accident last night at Mohawk, is still recovering and will not be available for tonight's harness racing card at the Campbellville oval.

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