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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) welcomes the appointment of Stephen Bell to the role of HRV General Manager – Racing, effective Wednesday, August 29. Mr Bell brings considerable racing administration experience following on from positions at Mornington and Moonee Valley Racing Clubs, as well as Racing Victoria Limited. Mr Bell holds a Masters in Sports Business. “With the return of the Inter Dominion in December, there is no better time to be joining the team at Harness Racing Victoria. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase world class racing to a wide audience and attract new wagering customers,” Mr Bell said. “I look forward to working with industry stakeholders to develop and implement innovative racing products that will increase participation, grow wagering and maximise returns.”  HRV CEO David Martin said Mr Bell’s extensive experience in racing and sports management had him well positioned to guide HRV’s racing functions. “Stephen understands the racing industry and has a real passion for it. He is aware of the improvements made in the last eighteen months and the challenges still ahead of us.  We’re looking forward to having him join the team.” Mr Martin said.   thetrots.com.au

Shepparton Harness Racing Club has paid tribute to Ben O'Donoghue, who passed on Monday. Mr O'Donoghue served as President of Shepparton Harness Racing club from 1996 until 1999. He remained on the committee until 2002 and is a life member of the Shepparton club. Mr O'Donoghue was heavily involved in the redevelopment of the Shepparton harness racing complex. Upon arriving in Victoria, he and his family set up Morley Park, which is now a harness racing stud run by his son, Stephen. Mr O'Donoghue is survived by his wife Anne, eight children, their partners and grandchildren. HRV sends its condolences to Mr O'Donoghue's family and friends.   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) advises that the deadline for trainers to nominate for the 2018 Inter Dominion Pacing and Trotting Championships is Monday October 1 (12.00pm AEST)*. The first round of rankings will be released by HRV on Wednesday October 3. Full Inter Dominion Conditions are available on www.id18.com.au. *Horses not nominated at this time can only be made eligible to contest the 2018 Inter Dominion Pacing and Trotting Championships by paying a late fee per Clause 13 of the Conditions. Connections wishing to nominate for the 2018 Inter Dominion can do so via the below methods: Online via HarnessWeb, using racecodes:  Pacers: MXM01121801  Trotters: MXM01121806 E-mail: racing@hrv.org.au Fax: 03 9214 0695 Nominations will not be accepted over the phone unless confirmed in writing as above.   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards provide the information contained within this industry notice to outline to all industry stakeholders the manner in which the newly formed ‘whip rules’ will be interpreted and applied from 1 September 2018, the date on which these rules take effect. Whilst the majority of the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 156 are self-explanatory, HRV Stewards provide the interpretations below to assist participants and provisions of AHRR 156 which are not included below should be taken to be interpreted as per the plain reading of the rule. HRV Stewards wish to draw the attention of all industry persons, including owners, to the provisions of AHRR 156B(1) which states: “A person shall not instruct or offer an inducement to a driver to use a whip in a manner contrary to the provisions of Rule 156.” Relevant Rules and HRV Stewards Interpretation AHRR 156(2) states: “A driver shall only apply the whip in a flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.” HRV Stewards Interpretation, includes but is not limited to: Drivers must maintain a rein in either hand at all times when applying the whip. Once a drivers whip hand is not pointing forward the HRV Stewards will deem the tip of the whip not to be pointed forward. Should the drivers whip hand be raised above shoulder height when the whip is applied it will be deemed to be engaging the shoulder. The whip should only be applied with a flicking motion. AHRR 156(3) states: “A driver shall not use a whip in an unapproved manner.” HRV Stewards Interpretation: Drivers will be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner, including but not limited to, when the whip is used in a manner contrary to any provision of AHRR 156(4). AHRR 156(4)(a) states: “For the purposes of sub-rule (3) a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:- (a) If the whip is applied excessively, continuously and/or without allowing the horse time to respond.” HRV Stewards Interpretation: Drivers will be deemed to have used the whip excessively, continuously and/or without allowing the horse sufficient time to respond, including but not limited to, when the whip is used on more than twenty (20) occasions over the final 200m. This is regardless whether the whip is striking the horse or the sulky. AHRR 156(4)(c) states: “For the purposes of sub-rule (3) a driver shall be deemed to have used the whip in an unapproved manner in the following circumstances which are not exclusive:- (c) If the reins are lengthened so as to result in loose reining regardless of whether the whip is being used at the same time. “ HRV Stewards Interpretation: Loose reining will be interpreted as follows: - Loopy shaking of the reins; - Lengthening of the reins which allows the driver to apply the whip with more force; - The reins and drivers hands being lifted above the drivers shoulders.   Penalty Guidelines To afford drivers sufficient time to adjust to the rule amendments the following minimum penalty guidelines will apply from 1 September 2018 – 31 October 2018: Minimum Penalty Guidelines 1 September 2018 – 31 October 2018 156(2) 1st Offence:  Caution* 2nd Offence: Minimum $200 fine 3rd Offence: Minimum $400 fine 4th Offence: Minimum 2 Week Suspension of licence to drive in races 156(3) 1st Offence:  Caution* 2nd Offence: Minimum $100 fine 3rdOffence: Minimum $200 fine 4th Offence: Minimum 7 Day Suspension of licence to drive in races All drivers offence records will reset on 1 October 2018 and 1 November 2018. *Where the HRV Stewards form an opinion that the driver has not attempted to comply with the rule a penalty greater than the advertised minimum may be applied. From 1 November 2018 the following minimum penalty guidelines will apply: Minimum Penalty Guidelines 1 November 2018 onwards 156(2) 1st Offence: Minimum $200 fine 2nd  Offence: Minimum $400 fine 3rd Offence: Minimum 2 Week Suspension of licence to drive in races 156(3) 1st Offence: Minimum $100 fine 2nd Offence: Minimum $200 fine 3rd Offence: Minimum 7 Day Suspension of licence to drive in races A drivers offence record shall reset 28 days from the date of the most recent offence. *Where the HRV Stewards form an opinion that the driver has not attempted to comply with the rule a penalty greater than the advertised minimum may be applied.   The HRV Stewards will continue to speak advisedly to those drivers who are identified prior to 1 September with a whip action that requires modification to comply with the new rule. All drivers are advised to take note of the below animation for guidance on the appropriate whip action.     HRV

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued three charges against licensed trainer Zachary Steenhuis under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. It is alleged that Mr Steenhuis presented ‘Als Law’ to race at Swan Hill on 23 April 2018 when not free of arsenic, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. It is further alleged that Mr Steenhuis presented ‘Als Law’ to race at Stawell on 14 May 2018 when not free of arsenic, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. It is further alleged that Mr Steenhuis presented ‘Als Law’ to race at Shepparton on 23 May 2018 when not free of arsenic, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.   Harness Racing Victoria  

Harness racing trainer Wendy Smith (Attard) passed away peacefully and with her family by her side last Thursday after a short battle with illness. Wendy, who was 65, was well known in harness racing, having been involved in the sport for the past 45 years. Those who knew Wendy well knew of her love and passion for the animals. She trained more than 1000 starters and 137 winners. Prolific among them was Southern Land, who saluted 19 times including in the 1991 Victoria Trotters Derby and the 1990 Tatlow Stakes final at Moonee Valley, and the Gold Coronet final at Bathurst. Wendy also trained Redenblue to victory in the 1992 Victoria Sires Stakes final for two-year-old trotters. While most of her success came as trainer, Wendy also drove winners in 1987-88 (Eskimo Dancer) and 1992-93 (Higher Than Hope). A  memorial service to celebrate Wendy’s life will be held on Thursday, August 2, at 2pm at the Napier Park Funeral Home, White Hills, Bendigo. Wendy is survived by her three children, Lonnie, Rebecca and Wazza, together with their partners, Mairead, Kurt and Sarah, and her four grandchildren. HRV extends its warmest condolences to Wendy's family and friends.   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer Trish McVeigh under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states:      A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances It is alleged that Ms McVeigh presented the horse ‘Angus Bromac NZ’ to race at Maryborough on 30 April 2018 not free of arsenic, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. Ms McVeigh has also been issued with a charge for failing to keep and maintain a log book in accordance with the AHRR. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.   Harness Racing Victoria

The champions of season 2017-18 will be honoured at the 2018 Gordon Rothacker Medal night at Crown Palladium on Sunday October 21. Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has made October 21 a race-free day to allow all industry participants the opportunity to celebrate this wonderful annual event. HRV also encourages the industry to nominate individuals who meet the following criteria for Gordon Rothacker Medal 2018 consideration: Contribution to harness racing in Victoria (past and present) Length of industry involvement Held (voluntary or paid) key positions within the industry Demonstrated excellence within a chosen field Significant personal achievement Service as a role model/mentor Integrity If you wish to nominate someone for consideration for the 2018 Gordon Rothacker Medal, please email the name of the nominee and a brief summary of supportive information (achievements, positions held in the industry, length of service etc) to Angela McCallum (AMcCallum@hrv.org.au) by close of business on Friday September 7. Tickets for the 2018 Gordon Rothacker Medal night will shortly go on sale, so stay tuned for an announcement from HRV.   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will advertise for new General Manager of Racing following the resignation of Glen Canty for personal reasons.   HRV CEO David Martin said that HRV has granted Mr Canty’s request that he finish at HRV on Tuesday July 10.   “Glen joined us in July last year and has made a significant impact across the organisation,” Mr Martin said.   “His guidance, counsel and approach to such an integral position will be missed. We understand Glen’s reasons and wish him well in the future.”   HRV will begin an extensive search for a new GM of Racing in coming days.      

Prizemoney for restricted races in Victoria will increase from $3,500 to $4,000 in the new racing season (commencing September 1), Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced today.   The increase was made possible after Harness Racing Australia backed a HRV suggestion to lift the base rate for R-class races, enabling state bodies to bolster support for grassroots participants.   “This change means more money in the pockets of people in our industry who really need it,” HRV CEO David Martin said.   “Feedback has been for a long time that participants want these Restricted class races, but that the stakemoney was too low.   This action, combined with an increase in the number of $4,000 R-class races programmed in Victoria next season, will mean greater opportunities for horses without incurring a Country - front penalty.”   In addition to the increased stakemoney for R-class races, HRV has updated the stakemoney distribution for $4,000 R-class races as outlined in the table below.   HRV also announced that all Victorian $4,000 R-class races and all Victorian $5,000 C-class races in September and October will carry a $500 bonus for the race winner.   The Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association welcomed the increase in R-class stakemoney by HRV.   “The VTDA are pleased that HRV is listening and has increased stakemoney for Restricted class races. This will be welcomed by many trainers and drivers,” VTDA President Lance Justice said.   $4,000 R-Class Stakemoney distribution will be:   Placing      Prizemoney      Increase 1st             $2,000              $250 2nd            $600                 $110 3rd             $400                 $80 4th             $220                 $30 5th             $130                 $5 6th             $130                 $5 7th             $130                 $5 8th             $130                 $5 9th             $130                 $5 10th           $130                 $5 Total          $4,000               $500     Cody Winnell

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer Gary Quinlan under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. It is alleged that Mr Quinlan presented ‘Most Happy Cullen’ to race at Cranbourne on 19 April 2018 when not free of arsenic, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have concluded an inquiry into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory (RASL) that Graceful Art returned an elevated plasma total carbon dioxide (TC02) reading in a pre-race blood sample taken from the gelding prior to it competing in Race 7 at the Mildura meeting conducted on 14 March 2018. Peter O’Brien, trainer of Graceful Art, was interviewed by HRV Stewards on 26 March 2018 concerning the husbandry practices adopted leading into the gelding’s engagement at Mildura on 14 March 2018.   Mr O’Brien provided further evidence to the inquiry in relation to the husbandry practices he adopted and a report from HRV Senior Veterinarian Dr Julia Aspinall concerning the product ‘Neutrolene Plus’ was considered. After consideration of all the evidence Mr O’Brien was found guilty of a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 196C(1)(b) which states: 196C.  (1)   A person must not administer an alkalinising agent in any manner to a horse which is engaged to run in a race: (b)  at any time within one (1) clear day of the commencement of the race. The particulars of the charge being: On 13 March 2018 when the trainer of Graceful Art he administered ‘Neutrolene Plus’, a product containing alkalinising agents, to that horse within one clear day of Graceful Art competing in Race 7 at the Mildura meeting conducted on 14 March 2018. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account: Mr O’Brien’s not guilty plea and prior offence record; Any penalty imposed must demonstrate the importance of only administering substances within the permitted timeframe determined by the AHRR; Mr O’Brien’s personal and financial circumstances; The administration occurred within one clear day of the race as opposed to raceday. Stewards accordingly imposed a fine of $3,000. After hearing submissions from Mr O’Brien and Ms Cassandra O’Brien, managing owner of Graceful Art, Stewards ordered under the provisions of AHRR 258(1) that Graceful Art be disqualified from its 5th placing in Race 7 at Mildura on 14 March 2018 and the placings were amended accordingly.   Harness Racing Victoria (HRV)  

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today (28th June) considered a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer-driver Craig Turnbull. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Turnbull related to a urine sample taken from the horse ‘The Russian’ at the Kyabram trial meeting on 24 September 2017. The definition of a ‘race’ within the AHRR includes an official trial. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that the analysis of the urine sample revealed it to contain the prohibited substance frusemide. The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) in NSW confirmed these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant sample. Mr Turnbull pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were presented. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board highlighted Mr Turnbull’s cooperation throughout the investigation and guilty plea at the earliest opportunity, along with his good record over a long period in the industry. The HRV RAD Board also highlighted the purpose of the rules in relation to prohibited substances and the dangers associated with horses competing with these substances in their system. Mr Turnbull was subsequently fined $3000, of which $1500 was suspended for a period of 12 months. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), John Kearney

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced an increase in benefits under the state-wide Sulky Fund, commencing from July 1, 2018.   The Sulky Fund (setup in 2005) reimburses trainers for damages to a sulky as a result of an incident in Victorian races and official trials where a steward is present.   The changes to the Sulky Fund are:  Maximum benefit for damage to a sulky has increased to $3,000 (from $1,600).  Sulky wheels will now be covered up to maximum of $1,000 per wheel when damaged during official races (a $250 excess applies for all wheel claims).   The Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association welcomed the announcement.   “The Association and HRV are very mindful of not only the professionals in the industry but the large number of small, part-time trainers who are the backbone of the industry and we’re certainly welcoming of these changes,” VTDA vice president John Hallam said.   HRV General Manager – Finance Luke Spano said today’s announcement was designed to assist participants.   “HRV understands how important it is to do all we can for our valued participants within our own financial means, and extending the Sulky Fund at no additional cost to participants will absolutely assist,” Mr Spano said.   “This follows on from HRV’s previous announcements regarding the Industry Assistance Program and the earlier release of stakemoney payments to participants for the majority of races. We are committed to improving the lives of industry participants and this is another action we are taking towards that goal.”   HRV was also able to negotiate with its underwriters to extend the personal accident insurance coverage provided to drivers and trainers to include the volunteer stablehands at no additional cost to HRV or participants. Volunteer stablehands are no longer required to contribute $95 to purchase separate insurance cover. Personal accident insurance provides coverage to licenced trainers, drivers and voluntary stablehands of the Victorian harness racing industry, including pony trot participants, voluntary workers, monte race riders, New Zealand licenced visitors and all other licenced visitors in certain circumstances.   A flyer which provides further information on coverage for non-Medicare medical costs, capital benefits, harness and non-harness racing income and additional expenses is attached and can be viewed here.   Participants should read the PDS to ensure that the cover provided by the personal accident policy is appropriate for their circumstances.   For queries regarding HRV’s personal accident policy please contact Jamie Taylor from JLT Sport on (03)96131415.   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER  

Victorian foal registration fees for 2018-19   Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has today issued the 2018-19 Victorian foal registration fees.   As previously advised, HRV will waive fees for Victorian-bred foals (from a Victorian mare and a Victorian standing stallion) between July 1 2018 and 30 June 2019.   This move is a one-off stimulus, designed to support local breeding and has been made possible by the Victorian Andrews Government’s $1 million funding commitment announced in the recent budget.   “We’ve listened to feedback from the industry and are taking action to reduce costs for breeders,” HRV General Manager Racing Glen Canty said.   “Today demonstrates the commitment HRV made to assist the local breeding industry and we have worked very closely with Harness Breeders Victoria and its president Terry Lewis to arrive at this outcome.”   Mr Lewis said HBV welcomed the waiving of foal registration fees for Victorian-bred horses.   “For some time HBV has been calling for the removal of foal registration fees for Vicbred foals and we welcome this announcement for Vicbred eligible foals born in the 2018-19 year,” Mr Lewis said.   “The removal of the foal registration fee will make the Vicbred scheme more appealing and assist to reduce some costs for breeders.”     Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria today announced prizemoney for the 2018 Inter Dominion (ID) series of races.   For pacers, the prizemoney will be distributed across three rounds of three heats ($30,000 per heat), a $50,000 Consolation Final and a $500,000 Group 1 Grand Final, while for trotters there will be three rounds of two trotting heats ($20,000 a heat) and a $150,000 Group 1 Grand Final.   Harness Racing New South Wales and Harness Racing New Zealand confirmed the same prizemoney for Inter Dominion finals over the following two years.   The ID hosts acknowledged the importance of maintaining the Inter Dominion’s position as Australasia’s premier harness racing series, while also committing to a financially sustainable model that ensures its survival.   Speaking on behalf of the ID hosts, HRV CEO David Martin said: “By working together we have ensured the future for the Inter Dominion series at a level that the three jurisdictions can afford.   “The Inter Dominion brand and tradition is an essential part of the Australasian harness racing industry. Our collaboration means we can all continue to celebrate our champions and feature their battles to hold the illustrious title of Inter Dominion champion.   “From the first night of heats this year on 1 December through to the final on 15 December, HRV will deliver an event that re-engages past trots-lovers and attracts new fans to our international sport.”   For the first time in 10 years Victoria will host the Inter Dominion, with both trotters and pacers being featured.   Cody Winnell 

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