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Harness Racing Victoria’s (HRV) Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale (APTS) and the Australian Pacing Gold (APG) Melbourne Autumn Sale will be conducted on Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Inglis, Oaklands Junction. This will be the first year the APTS has been held away from Tabcorp Park Melton. “The move to Oaklands Junction will provide opportunities for further growth in sales numbers as well as providing a superior and safer experience for horses, vendors and buyers,” HRV CEO John Anderson said. APG will also work with HRV to conduct a race exclusively for pacing yearlings catalogued for the Melbourne Autumn Sale and presented in the ring on April 2. “The Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale continues to grow and develop since its inception in 2013, coinciding with the terrific racing opportunities that exist for trotters in Victoria,” Mr Anderson said. “We believe it is an important step that the Australian Pacing Gold Autumn Sale and the APTS be run at the same venue on April 2 next year to create a high-quality catalogue of trotters and pacers, which will no doubt carry great appeal for buyers both locally and abroad. Oaklands Junction is a dedicated sales complex which provides a great environment for buyers and allows vendors to present their yearlings in the best possible condition.” APG General Manager David Boydell said: “I’m thrilled to see APG’s Melbourne Autumn Sale and the Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale sharing the same sales date and venue.  I’m confident that the new format will be warmly received by both vendors and buyers, and should result in increased attendance and a more vibrant atmosphere. I’m also really excited about HRV’s commitment to work with APG to develop a standalone race exclusively for graduates of APG’s Autumn Pacing Sale.  I have no doubt that this new Sales Race will help to attract buyers and drive demand for Autumn Pacing Sale yearlings.” Trots Media

HRV Stewards have issued several charges against licensed Victorian trainer Andrew Vozlic under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 259 (1) (a) which provides: A disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority or a person warned off cannot do any of the following – associate with persons connected to the harness racing industry for purposes relating to that industry. These and other charges for Mr Vozlic will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. HRV Stewards have been conducting an investigation into Mr Vozlic in relation to him allegedly carrying out farrier duties for approximately eight months whilst a disqualified licensed person to licensed harness trainers in the Mildura and Ouyen regions. As part of this investigation, HRV Integrity Department have interviewed many licensed trainers in the Mildura and Ouyen area in relation to their association with Mr Vozlic who has allegedly been performing farrier duties for them. This investigation in relation to those licensed trainers is still on-going with other licensed Victorian trainers still to be interviewed as further examination of mobile phones is currently being conducted.     HRV Integrity Department are expecting to complete those inquiries in the very near future. Anyone with any queries or seeking to provide further information on this matter can contact HRV Integrity Department hotline on (03) 9214 0651 or HRV Investigation and Compliance Manager Brent Fisher on 0402 063 410. ..................................................................................................................................................................................... HRV Stewards have issued a charge against licensed Victorian trainer Malcolm Retallick  under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 230 which reads as follows; Except with the consent of the Controlling Body a person shall not associate for purposes relating to the harness racing industry with a disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. .............................................................................................................................................................................................. HRV Stewards have issued a charge against licensed Victorian trainer Murray Jardine under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 230 which reads as follows; Except with the consent of the Controlling Body a person shall not associate for purposes relating to the harness racing industry with a disqualified person or a person whose name appears in the current list of disqualifications published or adopted by a recognised harness racing authority. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. HRV Media Harness Racing Victoria   

Barrier draws for Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals to be streamed live online Coverage of the 2016 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals barrier draws will be streamed online between races live this Friday night from Tabcorp Park Melton. Hosted by HRV's John Dunne, the barrier draw coverage will begin from Legends Cafe after Race 6 (7.27pm) and the online stream can be viewed by clicking here. Barrier draws will be conducted between each race following Race 6. Connections are advised if they wish to draw a marble for their horse in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals barrier draw they need to register with the HRV staff member in the Legends Café. The order of the barrier draws will be as follows: Race 6 (7.27pm) 2YO Fillies Trotters 2YO Colts and Geldings Trotters Race 7 (8pm) 3YO Fillies Trotters 3YO Colts and Geldings Trotters Race 8 (8.30pm) 4YO Mares Trotters 4YO Entires and Geldings Trotters Race 9 (9pm) 2YO Colts and Geldings Pacers 3YO Fillies Pacers Race 10 (9.35pm) 3YO Colts and Geldings Pacers 4YO Mares Pacers Race 11 (10.07pm) 4YO Entires and Geldings Pacers Race 12 (10.35pm) 2YO Fillies Pacers The Legends Café will as usual be open to public patrons on race night. Twelve Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series semi-finals will be run on Friday night with the first race at 4.51pm and the last at 10.35pm. The top six horses in each semi-final will gain a start in the 2016 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Finals, which will be held next Friday (trotters) at Tabcorp Park Melton and Saturday (pacers). Fixed odds markets are open for all the Empire Stallions Vicrbed Super Series semi-finals at TAB.com.au. Access the markets here. HRV's Trots Media team will also be covering the event live via social media @HRVnews and Facebook.com/harnessracingvictoria, bringing you all the colour and excitement from Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Semi-Final night. Cody Winnell

Monique Burnett after her first metropolitan winner and Greg Sugars celebrating Cruisin Around's Group level success are among those to feature in this week's Winning Driver Interviews. They were among the winning drivers to speak out after Friday night's racing at Tabcorp Park Melton. Nathan Jack, Mark Pitt, Jodi Quinlan and John Caldow also joined trackside interviewer Rob Auber after enjoying the sweet taste of success.

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced drivers will receive superannuation payments in accordance with legislative requirements. From July 1, drivers’ fees will be $71.18 per race, an increase from the current $65 payment to allow for a 9.5 per cent superannuation guarantee. The decision, made in conjunction with Harness Racing New South Wales, was welcomed by Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association president Lance Justice. “Drivers have been pushing for this for a long time. It’s great that it has got up,” Mr Justice said. “Driving is like any job. The industry is up and down and a driving career can come to a finish at any moment. Moving forward, it’s a great announcement and I applaud HRV’s effort to better support drivers.” HRV CEO John Anderson said whilst the decision to introduce superannuation payments was enforced on HRV, it would give drivers greater long-term financial surety. “HRV continues to support industry participants where possible and we have made changes to our processes within our finance system to cater for this,” Mr Anderson said. Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs CEO David Brick said support and care within the industry was “a core strength of Victorian harness racing”. “Assisting drivers to ensure they have savings for later in life is an extension of the industry’s support for one another,” Mr Brick said.  Michael Howard

The major races of the 2015/16 season at Tabcorp Park Melton and Victoria’s regional venues have seen a large contingent of track curators recognised for their outstanding efforts, with many track records tumbling in feature events. Regional track records have been obliterated in the Swan Hill, Stawell, Wedderburn, Geelong, Shepparton, Ballarat and Terang pacing cups, with new records also for trotters at Shepparton and Bendigo. Victoria leads the way in the training and mentoring of track curators and has run regular track maintenance seminars for some years. These seminars have grown and been attended by up to 60 curators, including strong representation from Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand. Last year seminars concentrated on Victorian track staff, with four regional sessions held that focused on practical demonstrations on the track. The HRV Board and Track Sub-Committee have been very supportive and proactive in ensuring the best possible maintenance methods and recognition of the state’s curators. The Sub-Committee focuses on the latest design technology in the construction and upgrading of tracks but also on the continuous monitoring and improvement of track maintenance and encouragement for clubs to have access to appropriate track machinery. The most recent track upgrades at Mildura and Horsham have seen increased cambers, new track bases and surfaces focused on reducing stress on horses. Already new track records have been set at both venues. HRV has stimulated clubs to use a polo citrus dust suppressant when watering, which has proven very helpful in the retention of moisture within the surface material and has gone a step further by initiating a successful trial of applying canola oil to the race track at Shepparton, which has received extremely positive feedback and results. Many clubs have also been proactive in enrolling key staff in an accredited program in track maintenance conducted by the Victorian Harness Racing Industry Training Centre. The Tabcorp Park track team of Jordan Robinson, Chris Lambrecht and Tom Byrne had the track in tip top order on Hunter Cup night as track records went by the wayside in the Del-Re National AG Hunter Cup, Seelite Windows & Doors Australian Trotting Grand Prix and the state’s fastest mile rate was lowered to 1:50.8 for the 1720m journey in the Bertocchi Free For All. Tabcorp Park Melton track manager Jordan Robinson said key to preparing an ideal track was “getting plenty of moisture into it and conditioning prior to the races, which will lead to a nice cushioned surface that the horses will thrive on and run accordingly”. “As has been constantly emphasised at HRV track seminars, the need of providing a hard (road-like) surface to produce speed is not necessary. What we strive for is to apply abundant moisture, which provides a fluffy cushioned surface with plenty of give that will make the horses more comfortable and ultimately keep them sound and hopefully prolong their racing future.” “Plenty of time and effort is required to get the track in perfect order and our track team at Tabcorp Park is meticulous in undertaking regular grading to attain a consistent thickness, ensuring plentiful water is applied prior and during the races to achieve optimum moisture content and conditioning the track to the precise depth. We have found the use of polo citrus not only assists to quell the dust but more importantly helps in holding the material together, which provides the traction to generate speed. “We are fortunate here at major race meetings when presentations can limit preparation time that we have the capability of utilising two conditioners to prepare the track between races. There is no shadow of doubt that conditioning between races provides the best outcome, which is something we have always done.” Track record broken on Cup/Carnival nights (October 2015-April 2016): Pacers: Track Distance Horse Date Mile Rate SWAN HILL 2790m SS ARDEN ROONEY NZ 17 Oct 2015 1:57.3 STAWELL 2590m SS YANKEE ROCKSTAR 6 Dec 2015 1:58.9 WEDDERBURN 2555m SS ARBER 13 Dec 2015 2:01.1 GEELONG 2570mm MS IT ITS BILLY 2 Jan 2016 1:56.6 SHEPPARTON 2190m MS GLORY DAZE 16 Jan 2016 1:55.7 SHEPPARTON 2690m SS OHOKA PUNTER NZ 16 Jan 2016 1:57.0 BALLARAT 2710m MS SMOLDA 23 Jan 2016 1:55.3 TABCORP PARK 1720 m MS COLD MAJOR 6 Feb 2016 1:50.8 TABCORP PARK 3280m SS SMOLDA 6 Feb 2016 1:57.3 BENDIGO 1650m MS HALL OF FAMER 13 Feb 2016 1:52.1 TERANG 2680m MS GLENFERRIE HOOD NZ 20 Feb 2016 1:56.3 KILMORE 2690m MS YANKEE ROCKSTAR 19 Mar 2016 1:58.7 ARRARAT 2570m SS IDEAL SUCCESS NZ 26 Mar 2016 2:00.5 WARRAGUL 2627m MS NIKE FRANCO NZ 27 Mar 2016 1:57.4 MILDURA 2600m MS STUNNING GRIN 5 Apr 2016 1:57.5   Trotters Track Distance Horse Date Mile Rate ST ARNAUD 2120m SS LOMBO SCRUTINIZER 15 Nov 2015 2:06.1 SHEPPARTON 2190m MS GLENFERRIE TYPHOON NZ 16 Jan 2016 1:56.2 BALLARAT 2710m SS MONBET NZ 23 Jan 2016 2::00.1 TABCORP PARK 2240m MS KEYSTONE DEL NZ 6 Feb 2016 1:56.0 BENDIGO 1650m MS GLENFERRIE TYPHOON NZ 13 Feb 2016 1:54.4 CHARLTON 2100m MS UWOULDNTBELIEVEIT 28 Feb 2016 2:02.3 CRANBOURNE 1609m MS KEYSTONE DELNZ 5 Mar 2016 1:56.1 BOORT 2250m SS GIDAH 20 Mar 2016 2:06.1 ECHUCA 2530m SS ROSTEVARREN 2 Apr 2016 2:04.6 MILDURA 2600m SS OUR TWENTYEN NZ 7 Apr 2016 2:02.7

Have you ever considered re-educating a retired standardbred? Are you interested in learning more about the breed and its ability to successfully transition to a life under saddle? Do you own a pleasure standardbred and think you would benefit from training skills specific to retired trotters and pacers? Harness Racing Victoria’s HERO (Harness Education & Rehoming Opportunities) Program is hosting an information and training day at Elmore Equestrian and Events Centre on Saturday, June 18. Titled Understanding Off The Track Standardbreds, the clinic will be led by Fiona Dearing, a dressage coach who specialises in instructing adult amateurs, in particular those with confidence issues. Dearing is well known by her business name 'Remote Coach' and has a special interest and vast experience in working with retired standardbreds. Over the course of the day she will work through a variety of topics including suppling and balance techniques and ground manners, with the aim of upskilling participants to work with their own horses. Erin White, of Erin’s Equine Services, will discuss how best to help a retired standardbred physically and mentally transition from racing to pleasure riding, while Registered HERO Retrainers Warren and Bronwyn Cochrane of Cobe Lodge will share some of their vast knowledge across both racing and retired standardbreds. Understanding Off The Track Standardbreds is a free event presented by HERO thanks to the financial support of Harness Racing Victoria and the State Government via the Victorian Racing Industry Fund. It will be from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday, June 19, at the Elmore Equestrian and Events Centre (Elmore Field Days site), 48 Rosaia Rd, Burnewang. Everyone is welcome, but those attending are asked to RSVP via email to hrvhero@gmail.com to assist with planning. Alternately for further information, please phone 0407 413 156. Tanya McDermott

HRV RAD Board Panel - Brian Collis QC, Rod Osborne The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards against Mr David Beer. The charges arose from an incident that occurred at the Tabcorp Park Melton harness trial meeting on Tuesday 26 April 2016. Mr Beer pleaded not guilty to a charge under Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 213(a) which reads: A person shall not:- (a) by use of harness, gear, equipment, device, substance or any other thing inflict suffering on a horse The particulars of the charge being that at the Tabcorp Park harness trial meeting on 26 April 2016, that in the stabling area after the completion of trial 7, Mr Beer struck the horse Auntie Poppy in the head region of the filly. Mr Beer also pleaded not guilty to a charge under ARHR 243 which reads: A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry. The particulars of the charge being that Mr Beer’s conduct in striking the horse Auntie Poppy, was behavior and an action considered to be detrimental to the harness racing industry. After considering evidence from Mr Beer and HRV Stewards, which included CCTV footage of the incident, the HRV RAD Board determined that the charges issued against Mr Beer were proven and he was found guilty on both accounts. Upon hearing submissions from HRV Stewards and Mr Beer regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board suspended Mr Beer’s trainers licence for a period of 3 months on both charges, with such penalty to be served concurrently and with immediate effect. The HRV RAD Board ordered that 1 month of the suspension was to be wholly suspended for a period of 12 months, provided Mr Beer does not reoffend under the associated rules during the 12 month period. In imposing this penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Beers’ previous outstanding record and service to the industry, the financial impact of the penalty imposed against Mr Beer in view of his personal circumstances, the nature of the incident, as well as the need to protect the integrity of the harness racing industry, whilst ensuring a penalty for such actions provided a specific and general deterrent. HRV Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards today concluded an inquiry into content posted on ‘Twitter’ by licensed trainers Mr Ken Carr and Mr Brian Kiesey. Mr Carr and Mr Kiesey were initially interviewed relative to this matter on 29 March 2016, with it determined that the matter be heard before a panel of HRV Stewards. After hearing evidence from Mr Carr and Mr Kiesey, both trainers were charged and pleaded guilty under the provisions of Australian Rule of Harness Racing (ARHR) 248 which states: “A person shall not say, publish or write or cause to be said, published or written anything malicious, intimidatory or otherwise improper about the Controlling Body, its members and employees or the Stewards or anyone else associated with the harness racing industry.” The charge related to content posted by Mr Carr and Mr Kiesey on their respective 'Twitter' accounts, with the content published deemed to be improper. In assessing penalty Stewards were mindful that Mr Carr and Mr Kiesey both had two prior offences under this rule since 2014, with their most recent offences both carrying suspended fines of the amount of $500. Mr Carr and Mr Kiesey’s personal circumstances were both considered as well as their guilty pleas and previous penalties imposed under this rule. Stewards accordingly imposed a fine of $250 for both trainers, as well as the $500 suspended fines from their previous offences under this rule. Mr Carr and Mr Kiesey were both put on notice that any further breaches under this rule in the future, or any other conduct related rules, may result in more serious action being taken. Mr Carr and Mr Kiesey were advised of their rights of appeal. HRV

It is nearly two months since the Minister for Racing, The Hon. Martin Pakula, announced the appointment of a new Board for Harness Racing Victoria (HRV).   I speak on behalf of my fellow Directors in saying that our appointments are an honour and a privilege that is not taken for granted. The enormity of the challenge for the trots in Victoria is not underestimated.   We have already had two Board meetings at which a number of initiatives undertaken by the previous Board have been reviewed. The learning process will be steep as the Board must ensure a smooth transition from the previous incumbents.   One thing of which I am certain is that the talent and commitment around the table is beyond my expectations. In this regard I must give credit to the Appointments Panel and the Minister. Already there is a strong bond amongst directors and most importantly they all express strong views and ask questions, which is necessary for good governance.   At our first Board meeting, less than a week after our appointments, a couple of important decisions were taken. Firstly, there is a determination that integrity will be of prime importance not only for the industry, its participants and customers but also in everything that HRV does in its industry leadership role. This focus will be the cornerstone of growing and developing the trots in Victoria. In this regard it is important to record some positive and important decisions taken by the previous Board to improve integrity, including the recently announced appointment of three well credentialed investigative staff within the integrity department. These initiatives will provide a sound base to build upon in the future.   Secondly all Directors are determined to make themselves available at trots meetings throughout Victoria. This will lead to the Board being represented at all country cup meetings and feature meetings a Melton as a first priority and then regularly at feature meetings throughout Victoria. Importantly, directors are determined to  be available to stakeholders and participants and will be available in the horse stall areas during race meetings. Already much goodwill has been created with this practice. It has enabled important interaction with the people of  the trots and assisted with our learning process.   My commitment, following on from this practice, will be an “open door” policy for people who want to meet with me to discuss harness issues and their involvement in the industry. I have already met with many industry participants to discuss a wide range of issues.   Prior to the appointment of the new Board the Minister made initial appointments to the newly legislated Harness Racing Advisory Council (HRAC). HRV Vice Chairman Elizabeth Clarke, well-known to all industry participants, will chair the Council. Appointments to the Council will be reviewed by the Board prior to their expiry on 30 June. The HRAC will play a very important role.  Given the HRV Board is business and commercial skills based, the HRAC will provide the Board with valuable racing input and knowledge when decisions are required on racing matters.   All matters relating to racing and breeding will be referred from HRV to the HRAC prior to their consideration by the Board. Importantly the HRAC can feed racing matters and issues from the various kindred bodies, with its recommendations pertaining thereto, up to the HRV Board. This two-way approach is vital.   For the HRAC to function as intended it is essential that all persons appointed thereto have an “industry first” focus on all matters being considered. This will certainly be the HRV Board’s focus in any decisions it takes. There will be times when those on the Council have to put aside their allegiances to kindred bodies if they are to serve on this important new industry body. It is important that all industry participants and stakeholders understand this.   I also issue a challenge to all stakeholders and participants to think “industry first” as by growing the industry we will all eventually benefit. In particular, the challenges on the wagering front must be met head on if we are to grow returns therefrom which represent nearly 70% of HRV revenue. Regretfully the attractiveness of the trots generally from a wagering perspective lags behind the other two codes. One thing which has pleasantly surprised me is that HRV is more effective than the other two codes in distributing its revenue share from the Tabcorp Joint Venture as returns (prizemoney etc.) to participants.   If the industry can work collaboratively we can grow the top line from wagering revenue and this will mean increased returns for all.   While it was originally intended that the HRAC would meet quarterly it has already met three times since its inception. It is most gratifying that each member of the Council has made the time available to consider important industry issues in a timely manner. I have attended the most recent two meetings, including the meeting on 18 May when each of the kindred bodies made presentations for the Council to consider for recommendation to the HRV Board.   The Board does not underestimate the magnitude of the challenge ahead as it will involve significant change and this will impact upon some of the traditions and practices of the sport. It is clear that the industry must work to grow wagering revenue if it is to prosper. While there has been healthy growth in turnover across all wagering operators over the past five years, revenues therefrom, particularly from our Joint Venture with Tabcorp, have stagnated due to a shift in betting from the tote to corporate operators and also to Tabcorp’s fixed odds offering, both with significant lower returns than for tote betting.   One thing I can assure you is that change will only occur for good reason and it will be made based upon the best available advice. At times such advice may not reside within HRV and as such will necessitate seeking external assistance if necessary.   I plan to provide the industry with regular updates on my and the Board’s perspective and believe that communications from HRV will play a vital role in garnering the industry’s support, through the development of trust via open and honest dialogue.   I very much look forward to working with each and every one of you in growing our wonderful industry. One thing of which I am certain is that there is no shortage of passion, commitment and hard work within the trots.   Should you wish to contact me at any time please feel free to reach out to me at HRV. I can be contacted on 03 8378 0257 or via email ondmonteith@hrv.org.au.   Warm regards,   Dale G. Monteith HRV Chairman

Saturday night’s Benstud Queen of the Pacific at Tabcorp Park Melton is shaping as one of the races of the season. In-form mare Gumdrops (by Western Terror out of Awesome Powers) is shooting for a mares’ triple crown of sorts in the $100,000 Group 1 contest after victories in feature lead-up races the Make Mine Cullen and the Angelique Club Cup. She is a $5.50 chance with TAB.com.au from her barrier seven draw. Trained by Smythes Creek’s Emma Stewart, who is fourth on the national trainers’ premiership with a phenomenal winning strike rate of 40.57 per cent for the season, Gumdrops has savaged the line to win at all three of her runs since joining the new stable. DRIVER MARK PITT ON GUMDROPS' MAKE MINE CULLEN WIN& THE ANGELIQUE CLUB CUP WIN Early fixed odds favourites for the 2760-metre Queen of the Pacific are John McCarthy-trained Cyclone Kate (by Mach Three out of Eyre To The Throne) and Dean Braun-trained Nike Franco (by McArdle out of Nearea Franco), both $3.50 from gates one and three respectively. Champion mare Frith (by Four Starzzz Shark out of Jackie Kelly) is on the next line at $4.50, the winner of 39 of 57 starts to come out of gate 10 for the Cobbitty team of Belinda and Luke McCarthy. Only one previous Queen of the Pacific winner will line up in the race this year, Gumdrops having won the race in 2014 when trained by Steve Zammit. For the first time since 1999 the Queen of the Pacific will be run as a mobile-start event this year. Lils Lady (by OK Bye out of Lady Lilly Denover) was the last mare to win the race from the rolling gate in ’99 when piloted by Jodi Quinlan. Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has welcomed the Daniel Andrews State Government’s significant financial commitment to the Victorian trots industry, announced today by Minister for Racing Martin Pakula. Mr Pakula announced a substantial financial commitment from the State Government backing HRV’s Vicbred Platinum race series and the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale, with the Victorian industry to receive a $6.15 million boost over four years. Mr Pakula made the announcements today at Empire Stallions in Avenel, one of Victoria’s premier trots breeding facilities. THE STATE GOVERNMENT’S MEDIA RELEASE Launched by HRV in 2012, Vicbred Platinum supports pacers and trotters that are raced and bred in Victoria. Under the scheme, $1.45 million in prize money and bonuses will be available during each of the four years, with horses competing in 105 Vicbred Platinum races run annually across the state. The government is providing $2.31 million towards the scheme, courtesy of its Victorian Racing Industry Fund, with HRV providing a further $3.5 million. As part of the scheme, the government will also contribute $37,500 each year to support the Australasian Premier Trotting Sale and to establish a new sale to assist breeders and owners to sell their weanlings, yearlings, broodmares, stallions and racing stock. HRV will also provide almost $50,000 each year to support the sales. The funding will help promote the sales throughout Australia and overseas and provide further infrastructure investment that includes raising the auctioneer’s stage, providing a big screen to track the day’s sales and extra seating around the sales ring. There are more than 3000 trots breeders in Victoria, employing around 1900 people.   “The Andrews Labor Government is committed to supporting a strong and viable future for Victoria’s harness racing breeding industry,” Mr Pakula said. “Vicbred Platinum continues to increase opportunities for Victorian bred stock, particularly fillies and mares, boosting the Victorian breeding sector. “The Australasian Premier Trotting Sale also places Victorian bred horses at the forefront for international buyers.” HRV CEO John Anderson welcomed the important announcements. “We are pleased to be joining forces with the Victorian Government to support the breeding of pacers and trotters in this state,” Mr Anderson said. “Since its introduction in 2012, the Vicbred Platinum scheme has provided over $4 million to support local breeders and raise the profile of Australian bred horses on the international market.” HRV Chairman Dale Monteith told the gathering at Empire Stallions today that the Victorian industry was extremely appreciative of the State Government's ongoing commitment to the vital Vicbred program.   “It’s a very exciting announcement in terms of harness racing in Victoria. It’s a continuation of the Vicbred scheme, some enhancements to it and also commitment in terms of funding," Mr Monteith said. "As we know prizemoney, return to owners and the participants is something that keeps the industry ticking over. It ensures that people are employed in the industry. It provides opportunities to owners by giving them returns on their investment, so they employ trainers who employ others to help them.” Harness Breeders Victoria also welcomed the announcement. “Harness Breeders Victoria welcomes today’s announcement and appreciates that Harness Racing Victoria and the Victorian Government have made these commitments at a time that will encourage breeders in the state to maintain, increase or even commence breeding operations, which, in recent times, have been negatively impacted by the drought," HBV President Shannon Nixon said. “The commitments announced today regarding the Vicbred futurity scheme will further secure Victoria’s position as the premier state in which to breed, own and race standardbreds, and help to support our regional economies through growth of breeding activity in Victoria.” Empire Stallions Business Manager Donna Egan, whose company sponsors the lucrative Vicbred Super Series, spoke of her pride at being associated with the futurity scheme. “We are very proud to be the sole sponsors of Vicbred. We feel that this is a terrific way to get our message out. It is something we look forward to every year, it’s been a very, very, very good opportunity for us. It’s great to continue it, and with these changes it’s even better," she said. Michael Howard

HRV Stewards have issued a number of charges against licensed person Mr Anthony Llewellyn under the Australian Rules of Harness Racing. These charges relate to a post-race urine sample taken from Land Of Panaarm on 25 September 2015 at the Melton harness racing meeting, which is alleged to contain the prohibited substance amphetamine and 4-hydroxyamphetamine.  The remaining charges involve alleged matters relating to the conduct of Mr Llewellyn during the investigation. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. HRV STEWARDS

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has received a copy of the Review of the Integrity Structures of the Victorian Racing Industry undertaken by Paul Bittar. The Review, and its recommendations, will be forwarded to the HRV Board for discussion at the next meeting. READ THE GOVERNMENT'S MEDIA RELEASE HERE “I note the Minister for Racing has accepted the recommendations in principle, so HRV looks forward to working with the Minister and his office on the detail associated with the recommendations,” HRV Chairman Dale Monteith said. “HRV remains committed to integrity being a high priority during the consultation period." Cody Winnell

Less than four years since its launch a plan to fill trots fields has ticked every box and produced a ton of winners. Narreeva’s victory in the Dani Lewis Memorial Pace marked the 100th time a horse in work at Cranbourne Harness Racing Club’s training centre had won a race since the centre was launched in September 2012. “It has exceeded our expectations in terms of the results the centre is producing,” said David Scott, the club’s vice-president who was its CEO when the centre opened. “I didn’t think we’d get to 100 wins so quickly.” Harness Racing Victoria CEO John Anderson said reaching the 100th win was "a remarkable achievement" by the centre. "This rewards the Cranbourne club for its initiative to establish the training centre," Mr Anderson said. "It's a valuable asset and a model for increasing future participation in our industry. Congratulations to all involved." Mr Scott said it was very satisfying to have the centre meet its objectives. “We as a club recognised our horse population on the southern side of the Yarra was disappearing quite remarkably and we had issues with race fields producing the sort of racing we wanted to produce,” Mr Scott said. “At the time we recognised that if we initiated a training centre it would introduce a local horse population and give individuals a start in the sport.” In the club’s first season it had 20 to 25 horses in work and Mr Scott said it had “progressively taken us three years to get near capacity”, with 43 horses now in work across its 50 stables. “Last week the centre had 19 runners across the week, eight of whom raced at Cranbourne,” he said. “That is a full-race field and can make a seven-race program into eight races, which can make a significant difference, including to wagering. “From an industry perspective, there are four people training now at the centre that didn’t have trainers’ licences when the centre opened. They are hobbyists who without this wouldn’t have the facility to train horses.” The centre’s most prolific winner, trainer Michael Hughes, also fittingly produced its 100th win when Narreeva tipped out Yackandandah in Saturday night’s sixth race at Cranbourne. Hughes had stints with Garry Rogers and Lance Justice before starting in his own right at the Cranbourne centre. “(The centre) played a big role in my decision. Everything’s here, you have three tracks, a swimming pool, treadmill and a walker,” Hughes said. “To get this set up in a private capacity would take a lot of money. When everything’s here it makes training quite affordable.” And, with a bottle of scotch an added bonus that awaited the trainer who cracked the ton, Narreeva’s win brought great joy to his trainer. “He had a smart horse on his tail, but Narreeva pulled out all the guns and was too good for them,” Hughes said. “To win that was a bit special.” Cranbourne Training Complex honour roll: Michael Hughes 39 wins, Vivian Tomren 19, Charlie Wootton 15, Ken Browne 7, Alan Dunsmuir 6, Brian Duthie 4, Rick Cashman, Michael Langdon 3, Terry Howard 2 wins, Bill Kucks 1, Tony Mallia 1. Michael Howard

Congratulations to new Harness Racing Victoria Board member Peter Watkinson who, after 40 years of trying, bred and owned his first Group winner when the highly promising Starofsahara won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Platinum $50,000 Home Grown Series last Friday (May 13) at Melton. 2017 Summer of Glory The Board has approved several changes to enhance HRV’s premier racing Carnival, the 2017 Summer of Glory.   The feature night of the Carnival will be A.G. Hunter Cup night on Saturday February 4.  That night will now host four Group 1 races:   A.G. Hunter Cup (Grand Circuit and Group 1) Victoria Derby (Group 1) Great Southern Star (Trotting Masters and Group 1) 4YO Bonanza (Group 1)   This represents quite a significant change from 2016 when the Great Southern Star was run in March and the Derby on Victoria Cup night.   The first night of the Carnival will include: Victoria Cup (Grand Circuit and Group 1) Australian Trotting Grand Prix (Group 1) Victoria Derby heats The budget for the 2016/17 financial year is not finalised however it is anticipated stakemoney over the two nights will reach $2 million for the first time.   2015/16 Breeding Season   Some interesting service statistics coming from Harness Racing Australia recently.  The 2015/16 number of services loaded onto the system seems to be very similar to the previous season despite predictions to the contrary.    This year’s figure will be very close to last year’s number of just under 6,000.  Victorian services represent 68% of the national figure.   Tiered Prizemoney The tiered prizemoney announcement has generated much industry debate.   There are several strategic motives for restructuring the way the total pool of stakemoney is divided.  I emphasise that running more restricted races does not mean less prizemoney.  The pool of stakemoney is not impacted but distributed differently.   Click here to watch the explanatory video produced by HRV's Trots Media and Vaughn Lynch explaining in detail the background behind the decision.   Pony Trots Growth I was pleased to receive the 2015/16 Annual Report for the Pony Trots from Andrea Parkes.  Congratulations to Andrea and her band of volunteers for the great work being done with Pony Trots.   Some of the highlights from the comprehensive report: 14 new children in 2015/16 52 participants in total – highest number in over a decade 7 retirees at year’s end will apply for driving permits All clubs now co-operative in hosting events Recent Victorian Pony Trot graduates doing well around Australia – Jackie Barker, Jack Laugher (Tas), James Herbertson, Sam Barker, Ellen Bartley, Brook McPherson and Mitch Barker The industry is littered with former Pony Trot participants.  Special achievements for graduates this year were:  Jason Lee driving in the International All Star Series, and Josh Aiken driving in the Inter Dominion Series For the first time there was a Pony Trot Monte series   Well done to all involved including the many sponsors, clubs, race callers, volunteers and families who are ensuring a bright future for Pony Trots.   March Wagering Statistics HRV will be providing much more detail publicly on wagering turnover information as analysed by Ryan Stanaway, Wagering and Racing Services Manager.   Numbers quoted below are total wagering turnover from the TAB and Corporates (excludes betting exchange which has a different model). Highest turnover race: Kilmore Cup (19/3) $526,000 Highest turnover meeting: Melton (12/3) $3,400,000   Average turnover per race: Mobiles $187,500 Average turnover per race: Stands $154,400   Average turnover per race: Pacers $185,000 Average turnover per race: Trotters $180,000 Lowest turnover race was $45,400 and lowest turnover meeting was $863,000. These were on a Sunday which is now the poorest off-course wagering timeslot.   National Award – Larry Eastman I was delighted to recently announce trainer Larry Eastman as the recipient of a Harness Racing Australia 2015 Meritorious Service Award.   HRV nominated Larry for the Award in recognition of his 40-year contribution to the industry which culminated in training his first Group 1 winner in 2015. By year’s end he had increased his tally to six Group 1 wins courtesy of Menin Gate (4), Morton Plains and Milly Perez.   Larry paid tribute to his wife Lynette in accepting the Award.  For the full story clickhere.   Cobram Pink Ribbon Ladies Day In a typical harness racing show of community spirit, congratulations to the Cobram Club which hosted a charity race day on May 5.   The day raised nearly $9,000 for the McGrath Foundation in support of breast cancer research.   Female drivers were dressed in pink and they were supported by many sponsors and trainers.   Well done to the Cobram Club and team leader Donna Castles for driving the day.  It’s another example of a club initiative that generates community interest for a good cause. Click here for a full wrap-up of the day. Clarification  In the April newsletter I referred to the Mildura Cup meeting having the highest on-course turnover of all this season’s Country Cups. Ballarat has rightly queried that stat.   So here are the specific facts: Mildura had the highest on-course TAB turnover of any Cup meeting ($119,000, compared to Ballarat’s $102,000) Ballarat had the highest turnover when bookmakers are included ($153,000 compared to Mildura’s $142,000) Shepparton completed the trifecta with $111,000 total turnover Clubs are paid a 10% fee by HRV for on-course turnover as an incentive to attract punters to the track.   Vale Roy Junor HRV was saddened to hear of the passing in April of harness racing stalwart Roy Junor at age 79.   Roy was a licensed person for several decades before relinquishing his licence in 2008, however I remember him most for his tireless work for the Diamond Valley Club.  He was a lovely, kind man, devoted to his family and will be sadly missed.   Did You Know? Emma Stewart became the first trainer ever to train seven winners in a night twice when she did it again last Friday night (May 13) (previous time on February 4 this year).  She trained five winners at Melton and two at Globe Derby. Steve Turnbull, John McCarthy, Lance Justice and Julie Weidemann have achieved the feat once.  

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