Day At The Track
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First the Australians tried to claim the great Phar Lap as its own even though the champion thoroughbred actually came from just outside of Timaru. The fight over which country can rightfully claim Phar Lap as its own is well illustrated by what happened to the horse after its sudden death from a mystery illness in 1932.

In the end it was the whistling that Auckland harness racing trainer Bunty Hughes didn't like.

The New Jersey Racing Commission this week released statistics regarding its equine and human drug-test programs and also approved regulations for single-pool wagering at the state's Thoroughbred and Standardbred meets.

Harness Racing New South Wales concluded an inquiry into a report received from the Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) that capsaicin had been detected in the post race urine sample taken from Lady Of The Night after it raced and won Race 6, the Where Horses Fly Country Series Final Pace (1,609 metres) at Tabcorp Park Menangle on 22 December 2012.

In the Paulick Report’s “The Breeders’ Cup Forum: Lasix – A Racetrack Practitioner’s Perspective” (March 7, 2013), Dr. Don Shields, who has been a practicing veterinarian at Southern California racetracks for more than 25 years, makes a compelling argument for the use of furosemide (Lasix) to treat horses for exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) in both training and racing.

New Zealand's Racing Minister Nathan Guy has announced that Alistair Ryan has been appointed as Deputy Chairperson of the New Zealand Racing Board.

The third and final day of the U.S. Trotting Association's Board of Directors annual meeting came to a swift close on Monday; three brief committee meetings preceded an even shorter meeting of the full board, but there was plenty accomplished before the final gavel fell.

Last month in our harness racing column we touched on the New Zealand First's wide ranging horse industry initiatives which were implemented between 2005 and 2008. It included an improved taxation regime through a reduction in totalisator duty, at four per cent of gross GST breaks when racehorses are sold for export, a policy of internationally competitive stakes for racing codes, and an industry safety plan.

Canadian harness racing Hall of Fame member Robert Burgess has written to the Ontario Liberal Government pointing out that the OMAFRA Transition Panel’s projections of only C$10 million in purses for racetracks beyond Woodbine Entertainment Group facilities is virtually a death sentence for racing elsewhere in Ontario.

The Board of Directors of the Delaware County Agricultural Society voted on Tuesday, February 19 to separate the positions of Fair Manager for the Delaware County Fair and the Manager of Marketing for harness racing's prestigious Little Brown Jug.

Welcome to my first column for 2013. My Ministerial portfolios have had a rejig and I'm very proud to be the new Minister for Primary Industries, as well as the Minister for harness racing, galloping, and greyhound racing.

Indianapolis-based Centaur Holdings, LLC announced today (Wednesday February 20) the completion of the acquisition of Indiana Grand Casino and Downs in Shelbyville, Ind. The acquisition brings together two of the leading harness racing track casinos in the Midwest, with the addition of Indiana Grand Casino and Downs to Centaur's Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind.

Under-fire Racing Integrity Unit chairman and prominant harness racing owner-breeder, Kerry Hoggard has resigned from his position, saying he did not want the industry watchdog's work undermined by questions about his own integrity.

John Green believes he has injected up to $10 million into harness racing, but the Ardmore (South Auckland) conditioner has had enough and it is highly likely you will ever seen him at a trotting track again.

It is a delight to be providing what is New Zealand First's first regular column for Harnesslink, particularly as it relates to something of which I am so fond - horses. There is no secret that horses have played a significant role in the history of the Peters clan.

Applications are now open for the next round of the Racing Safety Development Fund, the Minister of Racing Nathan Guy has announced today (Friday February 1). "The Fund supports important harness racing and racing projects around the country that improve racecourse health and safety standards," says Mr Guy.

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