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Seaford, DE --- A fire that started around 7 a.m. Monday (Aug. 7) in the main barn at Trotter Farm, known to many as Dillards, in Seaford, Del., (Seaford is a city located along the Nanticoke River in Sussex County, Delaware) killed five harness racing racehorses trained by Mike and Brittany Bounds. They were 8-year-old pacing gelding In Front Charlie p,1:53f ($158,523), 2-year-old pacing filly My Lil Tater Tot, 2-year-old pacing filly Gangster Granny, 3-year-old pacing filly Standtuecemewin and 2-year-old pacing colt Ezekiel Kandu. Seven horses were rescued from the barn, which had housed horses for a handful of local trainers. by Charlene Sharpe, USTA Web Newsroom Senior Correspondent       

Laurel, DE --- Maryland harness racing driver Ricky Still was injured while driving at Ocean Downs in July. With a broken kneecap and femur, Still is facing significant medical bills and won't be able to work for some time. His brother has launched a Go Fund Me page on his behalf, which can be reached at this link.

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced an extension of its employment assistance program to benefit all industry players. HRV People and Culture Manager Isabella Galati described the HRV Industry Assistance Program (IAP) as a confidential, professional, coaching and support service delivered by Davidson Trahaire Corpsych (DTC). “The service is available at no cost to all licenced industry participants, including trainers, drivers and HRV, Tabcorp Park and country club employees/volunteers,” Ms Galati said. “The IAP can assist with a wide range of personal and work-related issues, including but not limited to anxiety, stress and depression, bereavement, grief and loss, personal trauma, dealing with change and career planning.” View the IAP information document online for all services provided (link) “One of our core values is empathy, which reflects our genuine care for the health and wellbeing of our participants,” HRV CEO David Martin said. “Today’s announcement provides confidential access to support for industry participants experiencing hardship, and I thank Isabella for her work on this.” Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA) president Lance Justice welcomed today’s announcement. “We welcome this decision because the industry’s greatest assets are the people involved,” Justice said. “Trainers and drivers work long hours and it is hard work. That takes its toll and it is important our people have access to help when they need it and I’d encourage anyone feeling overwhelmed or in need of a helping hand to reach out. It’s important they know they’re not alone.” The Association of Country Clubs also welcomed the announcement. “We applaud HRV for making this service available across the Victorian industry,” association CEO Toby McKinnon said. “Being on the front foot regarding the welfare of our people is a very sensible strategy and we wholly support this announcement.” Find out more about the HRV IAP or contact DTC (link) Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Young harness racing reinsman Ben Woodsford could be sidelined for the rest of the season after being involved in a spectacular race fall at Newcastle last Saturday evening. Woodsford was driving three-year-old pacer Dirty Blues when becoming dislodged along with three other drivers in an accident near the winning post with a lap to go of race eight. The New Zealand-born driver, who works as a stablehand for Shane and Lauren Tritton, had his broken wrist operated on today at John Hunter Hospital where he has been since Saturday night. Shane Tritton claimed Woodsford sustained a "broken wrist in three places" and will be "out for three months." And it was around this time two years ago Tritton's wife, Lauren Tritton (nee Panella), was badly injured in a race fall at Tabcorp Park Menangle and sustained multiple injuries to her hand and wrist, sidelining her for many months. Woodsford has been in career best form, experiencing his best season to date having pocketed 12 winners for the term. Meanwhile, all other drivers involved in the fall, as well as all the horses involved in the accident, have escaped major injury. Maitland reinsman Peter Hedges was discharged from John Hunter Hospital yesterday afternoon. Hedges was driving the locally trained pacer Witherspoon and became dislodged when trailing Yourblueyescrying (Mark Callaghan) which galloped and fell causing the chain reaction. "I'm a bit stiff and sore but nothing is broken and all my scans came back fine," Hedges said. "I hit the track pretty hard and had some pain in my kidney area which they were concerned about but all my scans and x-rays came back okay." Fellow drivers Katie McGill (Celebrity Look) and Mark Callaghan were also involved in the accident, with the latter bouncing back to win the following race with Royal Gamble. Meanwhile, McGill was back driving at Menangle on Tuesday and finished third-placed with the trotter Chesapeaka Boy, the horse she was dislodged from last month in a standing start event. "I had a fall a month ago so you don't expect to be involved in another one so soon," McGill stated. "Luckily I came out of it pretty lightly and just the shoulder I landed on is a bit sore but it could have been much worse for all involved." AMANDA RANDO

Sydney harness racing driver Ben Woodsford came away with a broken wrist and Maitland reinsman Peter Hedges a badly bruised back in a frightening fall at Newcastle International Paceway on Saturday night. Woodsford and Hedges were in John Hunter Hospital overnight after they were among four drivers dislodged in an accident at the winning post approaching the final lap of race eight. The race was abandoned after Morisset driver Mark Callaghan was tipped out when Yourblueyescrying galloped, causing a chain reaction. Woodsford (Dirty Blues), Hedges (Witherspoon) and young Sydney driver Katie McGill (Celebrity Look) were all flung out.  McGill and Callaghan were checked by paramedics at the track and only Woodsford and Hedges were taken by ambulance to hospital. Newcastle Harness Racing Club chief Tony Drew said McGill had a head knock but was cleared to go home. Drew believed all horses escaped serious injury. Hedges said on Sunday morning that he was awaiting precautionary scans but it was believed he had only severe bruising to his lower back from when he landed awkwardly on the track. He said Woodsford had a broken wrist but all drivers involved were lucky to escape more serious injury.  “I was the last one to fall, and I trying to ride it out but then my filly got hit by another horse that was loose, and it flicked my gig up,” Hedges said. “I got flung into the track sideways and all my weight landed on my back.” Remarkably, Callaghan recovered to win the next race with Royal Gamble and secure a winning treble as a driver and double as trainer. He earlier steered Lethal Star and Mitch Kosklin’s Elect To Go to victory on the 10-race program. Callaghan was also the Hunter’s best at Menangle on Saturday night, taking second with Lovin Miss Daisy in the C1-C2 Country Series Final behind Miss Rodriguez. By Craig Kerry Reprinted with permission of The Newcastle Herald  

ANDERSON, Ind.; - JUNE 9, 2017 - During the tenth race at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Friday, June 9, an incident occurred approaching the final turn involving several horses and drivers. A major spill took place when Onedin Mach N, driven by Andy Shetler, appeared to take a bad step while racing down the backstretch in second place. Four additional horses and drivers were involved in the accident, though no serious injuries appear to have been sustained by any of the horses or drivers behind Onedin Mach N. However, Onedin Mach N was euthanized after suffering a catastrophic injury. All of the drivers involved were examined and treated by the attending medical staff at Hoosier Park. Two of the drivers involved in the accident, Andy Shetler and Ricky Macomber, Jr., were shaken up and took off of their remaining assignments after the tenth race incident. Live racing will resume at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino on Saturday, June 10 with a 12-race card beginning with a special first race post time of 7:15 pm. For more information on the live racing schedule and upcoming events at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino, please visit www.hoosierpark.com. Emily Gaskin

Harness Racing New South Wales Steward Todd Sharwood is on the mend following injuries he sustained while on duty at Goulburn's TAB.COM.AU Carnival of Cups meeting last Sunday. Prior to the opening event, the flooring of the steward/camera tower that Sharwood was occupying gave way. Sharwood fell through to the ground and was taken to Goulburn Hospital where it was discovered he broke his pelvis, sustained fractures to his vertebrae and other injuries. He was later transferred to Canberra Hospital for further tests which ruled out any need for surgery. This positive news was welcomed by HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny. "I have been speaking to Todd regularly and he received a positive report from specialists following his MRI (scan) yesterday that he will not need any surgery for his injuries, just rest and recovery for six weeks," Dumesny said. "Todd was very proud of himself having walked 14 steps today and has a hope to be discharged from Goulburn Hospital on the weekend. "Being Todd his primary ambition is to return to work as soon as possible and has offered once discharged to work from home." A Safe Work NSW investigation into the incident has naturally been instigated. Clubs across the state have been instructed to immediately engage qualified persons to issue compliance certificates for the structures at their respective tracks and approvals for use taking into consideration work place safety. HRNSW will assist clubs with contact to qualified persons if they are having difficulty in this respect. AMANDA RANDO

Harness racing drivers Kerryn Manning and Aaron Dunn are recovering well from Friday’s race fall, but still have a long and painful road ahead before they return to the track. Dunn suffered a dislocated and cracked shoulder and Manning broken ribs and a punctured lung when they fell during Friday’s VHRSC Snowball Series Heat at Charlton. “He’s OK, but it will be a few months before he gets back driving again,” said Dunn’s father, Barry. Trainer-driver Grant Campbell, husband of Kerryn Manning, said “she’s on the improve” after a difficult weekend. Dunn’s gelding, Sulem Joey, lost stride and fell, which dislodged his driver and tipped Manning’s cart, and led to her being run over by a trailing sulky. Both were transferred to Bendigo Hospital, where it was found Dunn had dislocated his right shoulder, requiring anaesthetic before it could be put back into place, with further inquiries revealing he had cracked the top his shoulder. “They had to knock him out and x-rays found more surgery was needed,” Barry, a trainer, said. “He’s travelling OK. He’s going to have his arm tied to his waist for about six weeks.” As time advances Manning is also on the mend and more is being learned. She suffered three broken ribs, high on the right side, and a minor puncture to her lung, which is healing itself.  She also suffered concussion, which Campbell said was “the biggest concern initially”, but “she’s responding really well as far as that goes”. “She’s on the improve,” he said. “She came out of the intensive care unit yesterday because they were really happy with the recovery of her lungs, her breathing and oxygen levels, and she has been in the surgical unit to monitor her before she is moved to the general ward. The pain is a bit more prevalent now.” The reminder that the risk of injury is ever-present in the sport has come in the wake of several falls this season. “We do it every day of the week and you kind of think nothing of it, but this last six to 12 months we seem to have had more falls in Victoria than the previous three years,” Campbell said. “We had one that looked worse at Melton a few months back where three of us – myself, Kerryn and Chris (Alford) – were all tipped out, but 30 minutes later we were back up and driving again. “This time there have been two serious injuries. If Kerryn was half a metre further along she would have been all right, but these things happen.” If there’s something the setback has reinforced it’s the ability of the trots community to rally around those beset by challenges. “We are very overwhelmed and grateful for the many well-wishes people have given to Kerryn and myself,” Campbell said. “There have many offers to help and we are very happy to have our families around us and the great support of staff at Bendigo Hospital.” The same can be said for Dunn. Among the well-wishes was a surprise call from Western Bulldogs great Doug Hawkins, with whom Dunn had crossed paths some time back. “That boosted his spirits,” Barry said. “He loves the racing. That’s his outlet. He’ll be out for a while, it could be three months, it just depends on how comes up.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

A world champion harness racing driver remains in a stable condition in Bendigo Health’s intensive care unit following an accident on the track at Charlton on Friday. Kerryn Manning was taken to hospital by ambulance with three broken ribs, a punctured lung and a severe concussion after the crash, which also injured fellow driver Aaron Dunn. Ms Manning’s husband Grant Campbell said she was in a lot of pain and would likely remain in the unit for another 24 hours. He said she would probably stay in hospital for another week, possibly over Christmas. Mr Campbell said he and his wife’s family wanted to thank everyone for the “amazing” outpouring of support received in the wake of the incident. “It’s been overwhelming,” he said. By Natalie Croxon Reprinted with permission of The Standard

Tamworth horseman Anthony ‘Tony’ Missen is in “good spirits” despite sustaining major injuries in a race fall at his local harness racing track on Sunday. Recently appointed Tamworth Harness Racing Club Chairperson Julie Maughan said the 54-year-old trainer-driver was transferred to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle today. “The report is that he has a shattered pelvis, broken shoulder and broken collarbone,” Maughan said.  “From all accounts Tony is his usual bright and bubbly self.” Missen was dislodged from the sulky when driving his pacer Tirunesh. Subsequently he was on the track unconscious and Harness Racing New South Wales Stewards stopped the race, later declaring it a “No Race”. Missen was then taken to Tamworth Hospital. He started the meeting on a better note when his pacer Fivestar Wally won the opening event causing an upset at odds of $40.80 with NSW TAB.  “The Club is thinking of him as he is a very popular trainer and reinsman in the north-west,” Maughan said. “Tony had a lot of success in recent seasons in taking out the North and North-West Trainers Premiership for the past two seasons. “Tony is one of those likeable and relaxed people who is always there to congratulate someone else on a win. “We hope that the doctors can give a better diagnosis than what we are hearing as we want to see Tony back at the track as soon as possible.” AMANDA RANDO 

The winners circle at Monticello Raceway was overflowing with family, friends and fellow harness racing horseman on Wednesday November 2, as after the card 8th race a Memorial service was held in the winners for Brett Smith, on hand were Brett's parents Gary and Tracey Smith. Brett recently passed away from injuries sustained in a horse training accident "The strong showing is a testament of how much Brett was loved and miss by all" said Eric Warner, Monticello Raceway Race Secretary. Empire Resorts, Inc., 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, NY 12701 845-807-0001 by Shawn Wiles  

WASHINGTON, PA, Oct. 30, 2016 -- Harness racing trainer/driver Tyler Stillings suffered transverse process fractures of the lumbar spine in a training mishap Friday at The Meadows. His fiance, Greta Slater, said the injury occurred when the bit Stillings was using for a training trip broke, causing his horse to dump him from the cart. Slater said Stillings was treated at a local emergency room and now is recuperating at home. She indicated he could be sidelined for approximately three weeks. The horse sustained only bruises. Stillings, 44, a resident of Washington, currently ranks fifth in driver standings and eighth in trainer standings (each by UDRS) at The Meadows. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Last season’s leading New South Wales harness racing driver Todd McCarthy has been forced to the sideline after breaking his collarbone in a race fall at Tabcorp Park Menangle yesterday. The 23-year-old Group one winning reinsman crashed to the track when driving Karmic Fire, a pacer trained by his father John McCarthy, and luckily sustained no other injuries.  “I’m feeling alright,” McCarthy said. “Judging by my other one (collarbone) I could be out for a few weeks.” McCarthy has broken his collarbone twice before, once in another horse related incident and the other on a bike. McCarthy is also hoping he bounces back in time to represent NSW in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship which is just five weeks away. The series will be held in conjunction with the 2016 Inter Dominion Series in Perth, Western Australia, from December 2 to December 9. McCarthy represented the state last weekend in the Australian Drivers Championship which took place at Globe Derby on Saturday night. After nabbing a win in the opening heat, McCarthy finished fourth overall. The young reinsman is fresh from experiencing his best season to date having dominated all the major driving premierships in NSW. Click here to watch a replay of race five at Menangle yesterday Amanda Rando

It was an emotional day at Exhibition Park Raceway on Saturday as a three-horse spill in the fourth event of the afternoon sent two harness racing drivers to hospital.   Going into the first turn, driver Ed Harvey and his pacer Allstar Seelster had obtained a lead from post two and suddenly fell causing Dr. Mitchell Downey to become unseated from his horse Stare Down and also falling hard to track.   Unable to clear the mishap, driver Stephen Trites and Ideal Ticket became involved and Trites was dragged in the sulky until the horse came to a stop at the fence.   Driver Ed Harvey is reported to have a possible broken hand and ribs in the accident and Stephen Trites, a hyper-extended knee injury. Dr. Mitchell Downey walked away from the ordeal and came back to win the final race on the program will Fall Bliss.   Also on the card, pacer Upstairswithron won his first race in over two-years for driver Scott Hubbard and owner/ trainer Bob MacNeil. Horse Racing New Brunswick will provide updates this weekend as the drivers are evaluated further.   All three horses involved walked away from the accident with cuts and bruises and H.R.N.B will report on their condition as soon as news becomes available.   Best wishes from Horse Racing New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Standardbred Owners Association on a speedy recovery to those involved.     Scott Waddell

WASHINGTON, PA, Feb. 18, 2016 -- Harness racing drivers Dan Charlino and Eric Goodell were injured in a mishap during Monday's second race at The Meadows. Both men were transported by ambulance to area hospitals for evaluation and treatment. Initial reports indicated Charlino, 52, suffered potential lower-body injuries while Goodell, 42, was being examined for possible upper-body injuries. The accident occurred in a race for 2-year-old filly pacers when Big Time Blaire stumbled as she was trying to gain on the leader from second, flipping Goodell to the track. PC's Candy could not avoid the fallen horse and also fell, unseating Charlino. Both horses were up quickly and did not spear to suffer serious injury. The Meadows will provide more specific information on the condition of the drivers as it becomes available. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

The sun is shining, birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the temptation is to launch full-on into your horse-training endeavours. You may have kept fit throughout the winter on the ski slopes or at the gym but what about your horse? Unless you had access to an indoor arena or migrated south for a few months with your four legged friends, chances are your horse’s fitness level is not quite sufficient for competition or strenuous outings yet. While there is no fool-proof way to avoid all circumstances that could necessitate a lameness exam, there are precautions every horse owner can take to reduce the risk of injury. As with every great fitness program, the key to success is a logical progression and controlling the factors you can control such as footing, stable management and horse health care. Logical Progression Many training programs have a pinnacle event in mind. In this case, a work back plan is created based on when you want the horse to be in peak fitness. The journey leading up to the main event consists of weeks and months of conditioning including a lead up with smaller events to ensure the horse is ready for the more strenuous task ahead. It only takes one month off for a horse to start loosing fitness. If you are coming back from a winter of inactivity, it is wise to start slow with 20 minutes of walking and to build up from there. Increase the length of conditioning sessions first, before increasing intensity. It is not realistic for a horse to be in peak physical condition at all times. Good fitness programs do not ask a horse for maximum exertion on an ongoing basis but allow for peaking and tapering, muscle building and down time for repair. Increasing cardiovascular fitness, strength training and flexibility in a progressive way will increase fitness and make the horse stronger and more resilient when the time comes for a maximal performance. A horse that has been fit previously will return to fitness faster than one that has never been fit before. Each horse’s training program needs to be tailored to the individual with consideration given to: age, breed, conformation, discipline requirements and previous injuries. One of the learning objectives in the Equine Guelph, 12-week online course, Equine Exercise Physiology, is to design and monitor a year-round training program for a horse (using training principles, structuring the workout, monthly and yearly plans). Also addressed are topics such as: base conditioning, aerobic and anaerobic exercise and recovery, monitoring of conditioning gains and prevention of health and performance problems and more. No Footing, No Horse Back to that sunshine again. Oh boy, is it tempting to go ride outside now! Before you step out consider all the footing factors. If you have been lucky enough to train in an indoor ring all winter, chances are your horse has been enjoying consistent, even, well-maintained footing. The outdoor options will not be exactly the same. Even if you are simply moving to an outdoor arena, there will be changes in depth, surface material, drainage and so on. While riding on different surfaces can be hugely beneficial, it takes time for horses to adapt, both to the new surface and possibly to the new training intensity. Dr. Brianne Henderson explains in her archived article on legs, “Bone is always changing and responding to stress. Microdamage can occur within the bone as a consequence of repetitive strain. Overtraining causes this “microdamage” to occur at a faster rate than the body can fix and so the repair is never as strong as the original bone. A similar ‘micro-damage-repair’ cycle occurs within the tendons and ligaments.” The chance of repetitive strain injuries can be significantly reduced with judicious training and the incorporation of lighter work days and rest days. Training in deeper footing and muddy conditions can predispose horses to soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. Those taking to the roads need to be aware of the impact on joints and bones, which can occur when training on harder surfaces. Training on hills is a great work out for both balance and strength training, but again logical progression of duration and intensity of workouts are all important to avoid fatigue and lameness issues. It pays to be choosy about the footing you ride upon. Not all surfaces are a good match for all disciplines. Dr. Jeff Thomason of the Ontario Veterinary College has done intensive research studying surfaces and how the horse interacts with a variety of footing. More information on this research can be found on the Equine Guelph website in archived news article: “From the Ground Up” . Shape Shifting Everyone knows about the importance of deworming and vaccination but no spring checklist would be complete without due diligence on the stable management aspects of dental care and saddle fitting. A painful mouth due to sharp points can manifest as reluctance to be ridden. There are many changes constantly occurring in a horses mouth and having a dental exam performed by a veterinarian once or twice a year is recommended for both digestive health and to avoid set backs in training. The saddle fitter is another important member of your healthcare team. Horses change shape over time and at different stages of training. Ensuring proper fit is important not only for the horse’s comfort but also for correct muscular development. Several appointments throughout a year are not uncommon and the spring check up is one of the saddle fitter’s busiest times of year. Know your Horse Health Knowing your horses’ normal heart rate, temperature and breathing rate before you begin a training program is important. “A work back plan falls into place once you have an understanding of your horses’ current fitness level and set an end goal,” says Equine Guelph’s director and former advisor for Canada’s endurance team, Gayle Ecker. A free 16-point horse health check is available with Equine Guelph’s Horse Health Tracker App as well as body condition scoring and a weight estimator. Knowing your starting point and what is normal for your horse is vital information for moving forward and monitoring your horses health through every stage of its training. Tracking how quickly vitals return to normal after exercise gives the horse owner a measurable indicator of fitness level. As a horses exercise routine ramps up, nutrition and electrolyte balance will also need to be adjusted accordingly. Early Detection Flexibility is of course a component of any training program. No matter how well we plan, setbacks can and will occur and it is of paramount importance to detect and address any health concerns early on. Early detection and treatment generally result in a more favorable prognosis. Archived article by Dr. Brianne Henderson, “Legs, Common Injuries, and how we can Treat Them” can be found on Equine Guelph’s news page. To practice your early detection skills for lameness, visit Equine Guelph’s free online healthcare tool, Lameness Lab, kindly sponsored by Zoetis. Lameness Lab reviews causes of lameness, goes over checklists, looks at when to call the veterinarian and what to expect in an exam. Finally, take the video challenge to see if you can spot the lame leg! To gain a wealth of information on conditioning programs, sign up for the Equine Guelph 12-week Exercise Physiology course beginning May 9. Equine Guelph would like to wish you all the best with your horse training programs. More resources promoting horse health and welfare can be found atEquineGuelph.ca.  

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