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Racing in NZ directly and indirectly accounts for well over $1.6 billion dollars worth of GDP, employs tens of thousands of people, has the potential to rapidly expand its export earnings and is an integral part of the Kiwi lifestyle. 1. In 2006 NZ First recognised the export potential of the NZ breeding industry and the need for improved international marketing, and achieved a much improved taxation regime through a reduction in totalisator duty and an accelerated write-down regime for bloodstock. 2. The strongly supported decision to permit racehorses sold for export to remain in NZ for up to 24 months without attracting GST was a further fillip to the industry and to the NZ economy. 3. In addition NZ First implemented a policy of internationally competitive stakes for racing codes, and an industry safety plan. These achievements provided the industry with the momentum to bolster its economic contribution, creating more jobs, more exports, and more income for NZ. Sadly much of the impetus to revive the racing industry has been lost under the present Government’s neglect. Also of alarm are recent IRD and Treasury departmental attempts to re-interpret clearly established statutory provisions against the industry’s health and interests. PLANS New Zealand First will: 1. Return a greater proportion of industry taxation to the racing codes.  2. Introduce a new (below Premier Meeting) category of meeting where every race will be for $15,000 minimum, with relativity across the codes. 3. Enhance employment and export opportunities by working with the industry to improve the international status of New Zealand Group 1 races to attract greater international interest. 4. Restore marque racing plans and prize money initiatives in line with NZ First policy implementation 2005 –2008 5. Return NZ racing to what it was good at. Racing needs breeding programmes to re-establish NZ as a first tier country in racing. That means policies assisting importation of quality mares, and properly using the sire cost write down. 6. Urgently review the operations and costs of the NZ Racing Board 7. Continue to support projects and initiatives, e.g. the Racing Safety Development Fund (a contestable fund of $1.5 million per annum, matching dollar for dollar contributions from racing clubs) that enhances safety and improves the quality of facilities in the racing industry, including the safety of riders, handlers, spectators, officials and others involved in racing codes, as well as the health and safety of animals. 8. Direct IRD and Treasury to respect the spirit of the laws passed to assist racing so we do not have specious departmental interpretations of laws that are clear to the industry. 9. Further improve the appeal of the racing industry to a wider audience by encouraging the promotion of “family-friendly” activities in conjunction with race meetings in all codes. 10.  Defend the historic, modest share of the racing industry, to lawful gambling proceeds, against unreasonable attacks. This is a Ten-Point Plan designed to maximise New Zealand's internationally recognised advantage in the development of race horses and to rebuild our country's reputation as a race horse breeding country of most interest to the world. This plan supports the industry's objectives to increase its economic contribution, creating more jobs, more exports and more income for New Zealand.  Judith Hughey Communications Advisor New Zealand First

The Illinois Harness Horseman's Association (IHHA) is proud to announce Matt Avenatti of Chrisman, Ill. as the winner of the 2013 "Big Tom Scholarship." The harness racing scholarship is funded with help from Tom Lewandowski, John Leahy and Jolene Leahy.

Jim Bafia, a co-owner of last season's Illinois freshman trotting filly champion Trot Fudge Sundae, was in the harness racing Balmoral Park's winner's circle last weekend but this time without his prize trotter.

Finding out just why horses do the things they do is the focus of Advanced Equine Behaviour, a 12-week course being offered by Equine Guelph that has been designed to increase your knowledge through evidence-based research as it relates to horse behaviour, learning theory, and related welfare issues.

Bob MacDougall, Chairman of the co-sponsored SOA of New York/Yonkers Raceway Scholarship Committee, has announced that Olivia Amitrano is the winner of the 2013-2014 Scholarship Award in the amount of $5,000.00 and Stephanie Lauer is the winner of the $3,000.00 award.

Lia Eustachewich attended the Clyde Hirt Journalism Workshop six years ago, but its impact continues to this day.

Have you thought about making your farm more environmentally friendly?

This past Sunday afternoon at Tioga Downs, five local area high school students got the opportunity of a lifetime in the fourth annual Tioga Downs' Scholarship Race.

First Choice Marketing announced today plans to host the 14th Annual Hambletonian Continuing Education Seminar for Equine Veterinarians, to be held in conjunction with the 88th Annual Hambletonian Festival of Racing in East Rutherford, NJ.

Tioga Downs held its second week of training for its fourth annual Scholarship Race on Saturday morning for five local area high school students who will take part in a scholarship harness race on Sunday, June 9th.

The Harness Horse Youth Foundation Summer Camp will be held at the historic Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes Barre from July 23 through 27.

Hanover Raceway will once again provide Schooling services to 2 and 3 year old Horses on Saturday mornings in June.

Master Horse Trainer David Lichman is coming to town to perform with his three personally trained horses for the first time in his 25 year career of helping people achieve extraordinary results with their horses.

The opportunity for any eligible college student looking to apply for the 2013 Dewey Degree Scholarship is fading fast as there are less than two weeks remaining for them to get their paperwork turned in.

A farm tour sponsored by the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund and hosted by the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State will be held for the general public.

What has been described in some quarters as the biggest doping scandal in racing history occurred in England last month. The magnitude of the incident aside, there is a lesson to be learned from this notorious event that has little to do with doping. The message developed is this: Advocate for others only that which you truly practice yourself.

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