An Introduction From The CEO At the Community Clubs Association of Victoria Awards night on October 15, Tabcorp Park was a finalist in the Victorian Club of the Year which is great credit to the venue staff. Congratulations go to the winner, Buckleys Entertainment Centre in Geelong. HRV Annual Report The HRV Annual Report for 2012/13 was tabled in Parliament on October 16. Click here for the Premier and Minister for Racing’s press release which coincided with the tabling. Chris Alford – Children’s Tumour Foundation The dust has now settled on the Charity Football Match recently held at Melton. The industry got behind the day which was a fundraiser for Chris Alford’s charity, the Children’s Tumour Foundation (CTF). As we know Chris’ daughter Katie suffers from NF, a tumour related disease and the Alford family have been great supporters of the Foundation. With the support of the Harness Racing Industry Chris and Alison Alford have raised over $85,000 for NF since Katie’s diagnosis – a fantastic achievement. Congratulations go to them both, and HRV will continue to support their efforts in raising awareness of NF. As an unfortunate post script to the football match, Chris suffered an injury in a crunching tackle and missed three weeks in the sulky, which only slightly delayed his quest for 5,000 winners (currently 4,986). Website Usage The harness.org.au website continues its extraordinary growth. For the month of August 2013, the website attracted 780,000 visits, compared to 690,000 last August, a rise of 13%. Most popular area visited remains “Fields” with 440,000 visits (up 15%) followed by “Results” 195,000 (up 15%). Mobile usage of the site for August was 46,000 visits, up from 25,000 the previous August. The HRV Facebook page has over 3000 “Likes” – 80% from within Australia. Brazil is 7th on the list with 16 people liking our page. The Old and the New There cannot possibly be any other sport where the age range of participants who can succeed at the highest level is so varied and where gender is no barrier. Our sport has been infiltrated by young people in recent years. If you take a look at the premiership lists for the 2013/14 season so far, you will see youngsters such as Greg Sugars, Emma Stewart, Nathan Jack, Amy Tubbs, Matthew Craven, Kate Gath, Josh Duggan, Jason Lee, Michael Stanley, all at the top of the tree. Yet only recently, horses driven by Matt Donaldson, Dick Lee and Brian Gath filled the trifecta in a race at Bendigo, with combined ages of 226! Male, female, young or old all compete on an equal basis in our great industry. Harness Review – 20 Years Mid October signified the 20 year anniversary of the popular radio show Harness Review. Congratulations to evergreen Len Baker who has been with the show since its inception. Well done also to long time co-hosts such as Clinton Welsh, Brian Dobson and Alexandra Hurley as well as a band of regular contributors, including our own Craig Rail. The show has a loyal band of followers on Melton 979fm from 8pm to 10pm every Monday night. The internet now takes the show to a wider audience. Well done to Len and the team! Vale Peter Nova Peter had a long association with HRV, predominantly as a representative for Radio 3UZ and in later years for Sky Racing. He was a hail and hearty character well known across the industry. Sadly Peter passed away in September. Apart from his infectious nature, Peter was top of mind with many of HRV’s corporate supporters. About five years ago, when driving in the annual Go Kart Day, Peter suffered a massive heart attack, and was clinically dead for some time. As a result of several people’s efforts Peter was miraculously brought back to life and we were able to see his smiling face for a few more years. HRV and the Pegasus Club were represented at the funeral. Dick Collinson Dick was one of trotting’s most colourful characters. He passed away in late September at the age of 90. He was a prominent trainer during the Showgrounds era with several top line horses including Grand Monarch, Rich Dale and Sandy Spring. HRV Legend Gordon Rothacker drove for Collinson. Away from the trots, Dick was a keen Bulldog fan and was President of Footscray between 1974 and 1978. Bill Lanyon Bill passed away on September 20, at the age of 75. The Lanyon family have been publishers of newspapers for generations, most particularly in the Mildura region. They have been supporters of the trots industry over a long period. Our condolences go to Bill’s son Ross who continues the family tradition with the Sunraysia Daily and ownership of pacers. Ross is also Chairman of Country Racing Victoria. Did You Know Congratulations go to Tabcorp Park employee Kathleen Mullan, who managed to get her former pacing racehorse MF Hollywood through to the prestigious Garryowen final during the Royal Melbourne Show. Affectionately known as “James,” he became the first ever standardbred to make it through to the Garryowen. Kathleen and James performed with distinction before a large and enthusiastic crowd.
A total of $850,000 in stakes was up for grabs at Tabcorp Park Melton over two night's of harness racing last weekend, with the running of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series for two, three and four year olds.
For years female jockeys have been on par with their male counterparts, and Australian female reinswoman have been very well represented by the likes of Kerryn Manning, Jodi Quinlan, Kate Gath, Amanda and Emma Turnball, Lola Weidemann, Kerry-Ann Turner, Lisa Miles, Cindy Rixon and our now very own Natalie Rasmussen.
Two harness meetings were held in Victoria on Wednesday March 27 with Maryborough racing in the afternoon and Geelong at night.
Nine year old home bred Iraklis/Golden Forrrest gelding Melpark Major moved a step closer to cracking one million dollars in harness racing stake earnings after winning the $25,000 TAB Geelong Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2570 metres at Geelong on Saturday.
Melpark Major recorded a stunning upset win in capturing todays $60,000 Group 2 Wimmera Mail-Time Horsham Pacing Cup. In downing a star studded harness racing line up that would have done justice to a Grand Circuit race, it was Melpark Major's biggest win since capturing the Victoria Cup in 2008.
Old timer Melpark Major showed that he is far from a spent force, by producing a top class staying performance to capture the harness racing $60,000 (Group 2) Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup for M0 or better class over 2700 metres.
Campbells Creek harness racing trainer Keith Semmens has enjoyed great success over the seasons with horses featuring the "Poem/Poet" name, the latest being 5-Y-0 Yankee Paco/A Poem Kept mare Yankee Poem who broke her maiden status in the Amrod Plumbing Vicbred Platinum Country Series E for Trotters T0 & T1 class over 2180 metres at Kilmore on Thursday October 18.
Harnesslink's "run of the day" at the Maryborough harness racing meeting held on Monday September 17 belonged to 4-Y-0 It Is I/Miss Clare gelding Fanagalo in the Bob Butt Concessional Driver Of The Year Pacers Handicap for C0 class over 2190 metres.
Horses from the Western District dominated at the Horsham harness racing fixture held on Wednesday July 25, with five winners in the eight race program.
Popular Cranbourne was the venue for a terrific night of harness racing on Tuesday July 10, with well backed winners the order of the night.
Friday's Tabcorp Park Melton harness racing fixture was huge for the Melton area, with the Bacchus Marsh trained Brunelleschi winning the $50,000 Vicbred Super Series Three Year Old Trotters Final and bonny mare Bellas Delight the $100,000 Vicbred Super Series Four Year Old Mares Final, both over 2240 metres.
Harness Racing Victoria conducted a restricted grade meeting at Tabcorp Park Melton on Thursday, with mixed results during the afternoon.
Grand, seasoned harness racing performer Melpark Major looks the major player in Sunday afternoon's (January 8) $60,000 (Group 2) Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup.
Five year old Artsplace/Lils Dream mare National Gallery chalked up her third harness racing victory in as many starts over a period of 25 months, when successful in the Geelong Australia Pace for C0 class (mares) over 2100 metres at Geelong on Tuesday January 3.
An ideal front line draw looms as the key to Melpark Major's history-making bid in Friday night's (November 4) $50,000 The Legends at Melton's Tabcorp Park. Already a back-to-back harness racing winner of Victoria's most revered sprint race in 2008-09, the one-time Victorian Horse of the Year has been in freakish form of late despite a horror run of awkward alleys.