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Harness Racing Victoria was saddened to hear of the weekend passing of Bill Hanson. Bill was an immensely popular harness racing man, whose enthusiasm and affability was infectious to all he met. Bill was a life member of Harness Breeders Victoria and he and wife Margaret were principals of Homevale Stud at Fern Hill. The stud stood many stallions and in 1990 purchased the legendary Maori’s Idol for stud duties, where he stayed until his death in 2006. Bill was an inaugural inductee into the VHRMA Hall of Fame in 2009. Officials from Bendigo and Mildura harness racing clubs spoke glowingly of Bill and his association with the sport. Mildura Club Manager Mark Kemp said Bill and Margaret would never miss a Mildura Cup Carnival. “They’d roll into town on the Monday and catch up with friends and they’d stay the whole week. Then they’d go home after the cup night on the Sunday,” Kemp said. “They formed very strong bonds with many up here in Mildura over the years.” Bill and Margaret would sponsor the Mildura Trotters’ Cup for several years and in 2013 the race was named in their honour. Mildura HRC will honour Bill at next Tuesday night’s Mildura meeting by naming a race after him. Bill also had a long and loyal association with the Bendigo Harness Racing Club, where he was a life member. Bendigo harness racing stalwart Des Rothacker, a long-time friend of Bill, said he would be missed. “He was very committed,” Rothacker said. “He requested Maori’s Idol be buried at the track. Just as you go into the club you can see a placard on the fence there about Maori’s Idol. That was at Bill’s request and the club was only too pleased to do it. “He had a lot of friends here. He donated a free service to one of his stallions for many years. “He enjoyed life and was a very good bloke and very good friend.” HRV CEO John Anderson said: “The industry is saddened to hear of Bill Hanson’s passing. He was a great friend of harness racing in Victoria and will be sorely missed. HRV sends its condolences to Margaret and family.” The funeral service for Bill will be held at the Thomas J. Scott Memorial Chapel in Piper St, Kyneton, on Friday, July 11, at 2.30pm. A burial at the Tylden Cemetery will follow. by Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

Bendigo musician and advocate for homelessness Luke Owens is the new Young Ambassador for the Bendigo Harness Racing Club. Luke Owens, 21, the winner of the 2013 Pride of Australia Young Leader Medal, set up Bendigo for Homeless Youth in 2012 and managed to raise about $500,000 in just nine months. To date he has raised approximately $3 million for Homeless Youth and charities.  He is a co-founder of United for Change and among his other projects are  working with Haven Home Safe to build a $6 million housing development for low-income earners and with the Father Bob Maguire Foundation. Mr. Owens  is commencing his teaching studies at La Trobe Bendigo this year. Bendigo Harness Racing Club president Dennis Bice will formerly announce Mr. Owens appointment as the Young Ambassador for the BHRC at the Club Pacing Cup Eve Cocktail Party tonight at All Seasons Hotel and the 50th Bendigo Pacing Cup at Lord’s Raceway on Saturday night. Mr. Owens will take centre stage at the Pacing Cup singing the national Anthem before the 50th running of the feature Group 2 race. For more information contact: DAVID ALDRED (Bendigo Harness Racing Club) 54493205 | www.bhrc.com.au.

Terang trainer/driver Matt Craven who represented his state in the Australasian Junior Driving Series a number of seasons back, has enjoyed his best harness racing season ever mixing both training and freelance driving.

Further heats of the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series were held at two venues in Victoria on Wednesday June 19 - Yarra Valley hosting the 3rd Heat for Three Year Old Colts & Geldings and the 3rd and 4th Heats for Four Year Old Entires & Geldings all over 2150 metres in the afternoon, while Bendigo presented the 5th & 6th Heats for both Two Year Olds over 2150 metres at the night session.

Few horsemen were busier than Mark Purdon yesterday.

Even though it was only a low grade $1500 non winners event - an interesting winner at the Bendigo harness fixture on Saturday June 8 was 9-Y-0 Davids Pass/Its Whatz Left stallion Nonno Medoro in the Alderbaran Park Pace over 1650 metres.

Champion harness racing reinsman Greg Sugars is on track to complete the Bendigo Pacing Cup, Bendigo Trotters Cup double at Lord's Raceway on Saturday night.

Bangholme harness racing owner/breeder who has the most bubbling personality, enjoyed a magic month of May as her home bred Pegasus Spur/Annika filly Fiftyshadesofbrown chalked up two wins - the Bill Morrissey 3-Y-0 Trotters Mobile at the Sebastian meeting held at Tabcorp Park Melton on May 19, followed up by the Majestic Son 3-Y-0 Vicbred Trotters Mobile at Lord's Raceway Bendigo six days later.

The mandatory two meeting Thursday took place on May 16, with Shepparton harness racing in the afternoon and Bendigo at night.

Harness racing co-trainers Lisa and David Miles enjoyed a super Saturday, with 3-Y-0 Art Major/Lee Almahurst filly Thunder Fee and 4-Y-0 Badlands Hanover/Kellyarmbro mare Ourbellabro the 4th Heat of the E K Bray Country Cup at Bendigo for Lisa, while David snared both Semi-Finals of the rich Australian Pacing Gold Two Year Old Fillies at Albion Park Brisbane with Mindarie Priddy (Artistic Fella/Kellyarmbro) and Manellira (Art Major/Amarillen).

There were two harness racing meetings held in Victoria on Wednesday April 17 with Shepparton racing during the afternoon and Bendigo at night, the highlight being heats of the 2013 Goulburn Valley & Central Victoria Young Drivers Challenge.

The spotlight was on the squaregaiters at the Bendigo harness racing fixture held on Saturday March 9, with the commencement of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Series for trotting mares over 1609 metres.

Squaregaiting has come of age in Victoria; a fact beautifully illustrated by the second annual Aldebaran Park Girls On Fire Time Trial Series, which kicks off this Sunday at Lords Raceway, Bendigo. The initial harness racing series was considered a success however the focus will intensify this year with two Pryde's EasiFeed Great Southern Star qualified mares contesting the series.

Two harness racing meeting were held in Victoria on Thursday February 14 - Cranbourne racing in the afternoon and Bendigo at night.

The harness racing four year old Life Sign/Red Hot Rita entire Just Live Life returned to the winners list at Lord's Raceway Bendigo on Tuesday January 29, taking out the Alabar Bloodstock Pace for C2 & C3 class over 2150 metres.

Champion Kiwi trotter I Can Doosit's Australian harness racing campaign is back on after an extensive veterinary examination failed to find too much wrong with him. And that will mean he is a plane to Melbourne tomorrow (Wednesday January 30).

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