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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have concluded an inquiry into a report received that My Field Marshal NZ may have suffered a bleeding attack subsequent to winning Race 6 the ‘TAB.COM.AU 4YO & 5YO CHAMPIONSHIP (GROUP 2)’ at the Tabcorp Park Melton meeting conducted on 20 May 2017. Upon initial inquiry, which included review of the available footage of the post-race presentation ceremony, it was confirmed by a HRV Veterinarian Consultant that My Field Marshal NZ had bled from one nostril. In accordance with Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 101B(2)  Stewards stood My Field Marshal NZ down from racing on 2 June 2017 until trialling to the satisfaction of the Stewards on one occasion. My Field Marshal NZ subsequently passed this embargo on 3 June 2017 and as such was free to resume racing. AHRR 101B(2) states: If the Stewards determine that a horse has bled from one nostril the horse shall not be eligible to race until it has trialled to the satisfaction of the Stewards. On 23 June 2017 the HRV Stewards continued their inquiry where evidence was taken from Tim Butt, trainer of My Field Marshal NZ. Mr Butt was assisted throughout the inquiry by Mr David Wonson Snr. Upon consideration of the evidence in its entirety Stewards could not be satisfied to the required standard that Mr Butt was aware that My Field Marshal NZ had bled from one nostril on 20 May 2017 and accordingly no action was taken for his failure to report this occurrence as the trainer of the horse. Submissions were heard from Mr Butt and subsequently from Sydney Brown, part-owner of My Field Marshal NZ, concerning the eligibility of the horse to compete the following week at Tabcorp Park Melton on 27 May 2017. After consideration of the matter, including the submissions tendered, Stewards determined that on 27 May 2017 My Field Marshal NZ was eligible to compete as the horse was not determined to have bled from one nostril until 2 June 2017 and effectively My Field Marshal NZ was not subject to the provisions of AHRR 101B(2) until they were applied by the Stewards on this date. In arriving at this outcome Stewards were mindful of the decision of the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal (RPAT) of Western Australia in the appeal of Malcolm Byas where it was determined the equivalent thoroughbred rule was not able to be applied retrospectively. Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) against licensed trainer Mr Louis Franc.  Mr Franc was charged under AHRR 216 which reads:  A person whether alone or in association with others shall not fraudulently or improperly nominate or start a horse in a race.  The charge related to the nomination and scratching of ‘Bianca Jasper’ from the ‘Lions 201 Memorial Pace’ at the Horsham harness racing meeting on 13 March 2017.  Mr Franc pleaded guilty to the charge and after considering submissions regarding penalty, the HRV RAD Board imposed a fine of $1500, with $500 of that fine suspended for a period of 12 months. In handing down the penalty to Mr Franc the HRV RAD Board took into account Mr Franc’s early guilty plea and cooperation with the Stewards during the investigation, Mr Franc’s good record over his 20 year involvement in the industry and submissions in relation to his standing in the industry. The HRV RAD Board also noted that the integrity of harness racing had to be upheld at all times and the need for consistency of penalties. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

The Victorian racing industry wanted conditions placed on Victoria's next wagering licence option that would have fettered the state government, the tribunal hearing the Tabcorp-Tatts merger ruled. The proposal – jointly put forward by Racing Victoria, Harness Racing Victoria and Greyhound Racing Victoria – was condemned by the Australian Competition Tribunal as involving a "degree of political and commercial unreality". "In some respects the proposed changes are anti-competitive themselves," the tribunal concluded in its judgment, which gave the green light to the merger of Tabcorp and Tatts. The Victorian racing bodies wanted to compel Tabcorp to participate in the next Victorian licence process and use its "best endeavours" to ensure a bid is successful. Tabcorp holds the current Victorian licence, which expires in 2024. The Tabcorp joint venture is Victorian racing's major source of funding. "Given the uncertainty surrounding the Victorian licence, such a condition is unreasonable," ruled the tribunal, which was presided over by Justice John Middleton. The Victorian racing industry also wanted Tabcorp to enter into new arrangements on identical terms with the existing joint venture. That was slammed as "inappropriate" by the tribunal. "Such a condition fetters the freedom of the Victorian government to restructure licence arrangements, likely compels Tabcorp to pay a non-commercial price and puts Tabcorp at a competitive disadvantage," the tribunal said. Victorian racing's unsuccessful attempt to shape the next licence is unlikely to be viewed favourably by the Racing Minister Martin Pakula and the state government, which is responsible for structuring the licence auction. The Victorian government did not oppose the merger. As the tribunal noted, "with the only exception (Victoria) all of the state peak racing bodies supported the proposed merger and have put evidence before the tribunal to this effect". The tribunal also dismissed a claim by the Victorian racing industry that a decrease in funding for Victorian racing would lead to a decline in participation by international horses and, by extension, tourism. "The tribunal is not of the view that the merger will lead to a decrease in funding for the Victorian racing industry. The question of how Racing Victoria allocates its funding to premium events is not for the tribunal to determine, but is a matter for Racing Victoria." The Victorian racing industry was granted leave to intervene in the hearing after suggesting the merger would reduce competition for the next wagering licence and future returns to the racing industry. The industry has now been left with a legal bill running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. The merger was also opposed by and corporate bookmakers spearheaded by CrownBet. By Patrick Bartley Reprinted with permission of The Sydney Morning Herald

On 22 June 2017, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards conducted an inquiry into the activities of unlicensed person Nea Fresenius at the Tabcorp Park Melton race meeting on 17 June 2017. After considering all available evidence, licensed trainer Vince Vallelonga pleaded guilty to a charge under the provisions of Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 90A(2.9)(a) which states:         The holder of a trainer’s license shall ensure that all persons carrying out the activities         of a stable hand are licensed as stable hands. The particulars of the charge being that as a licensed trainer Mr Vallelonga failed to ensure that Nea Fresenius was appropriately licensed when carrying out stablehand activities at Tabcorp Park Melton on 17 June 2017. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account Mr Vallelonga’s guilty plea, that the offence was an isolated episode due to his recent injury and previous penalties for offences under this rule. Stewards accordingly imposed a fine of $200.    After considering all available evidence, Nea Fresenius pleaded guilty to a charge under AHRR 91(1)(a) which states:         A person shall not carry on an activity regulated by licence -                 (a) if that person is not the holder of a current licence; The particulars of the charge being that on 17 June 2017 Ms Fresenius did carry on an activity regulated by licence, namely as a stablehand for trainer Vince Vallelonga, when not the holder of an appropriate licence. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account Ms Fresenius’ guilty plea and previous penalties for offences under this rule. Ms Fresenius was fined $200. Harness Racing Victoria

Due to a major electrical fire at Cranbourne, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today advised Sunday’s trots meeting has been transferred to Tabcorp Park Melton. “Unfortunately the magnitude of the electrical fire at the club means we are not able to run Sunday’s meeting, so we appreciate the co-operation of Tabcorp Park Melton who have agreed to host the meeting in the interests of the industry,” Cranbourne Club CEO Neil Bainbridge said. Click here to view the alterations to race distances due to the transfer Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria CEO David Martin is continuing to visit clubs across the state to consult with the trots industry on HRV’s draft Strategic Plan. Mr Martin will visit Mildura on Friday, June 30, Terang on Tuesday, July 11, and Ballarat on Monday, July 17, with all sessions starting at 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend, with industry people encouraged to come along and express their views on a range of topics. So far sessions have been held at Stawell, Charlton, Cranbourne, Melton and Shepparton, in addition to consultation meetings with specific industry bodies and their members. “The sessions have so far gone really well and it has been great to see so many people passionate about the trots give their thoughts,” Mr Martin said. “I want to see as many people as possible as part of consulting the industry on our strategic direction, which is important because we can only succeed if we are all in this together.” HRV CEO David Martin Consultation on Industry Strategic Plan Friday 30 June                   Mildura HRC                       7.30pm Tuesday 11 July                 Terang HRC                         7.30pm Monday 17 July                 Ballarat HRC                        7.30pm ......................................................................................... Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) welcomes the appointment of Glen Canty to the role of HRV General Manager – Racing, effective Monday, July 17. Mr Canty is an experienced racing administrator, having spent time in executive positions at both Greyhound Racing Victoria and the Melbourne Racing Club in the past 15 years. Prior to his move into sports administration, Mr Canty spent more than a decade working in the banking industry in Australia and overseas. Mr Canty holds a Bachelor of Business and two Masters degrees. “Most exciting for me is that whether the trots are regarded as a business, or a hobby, in both cases it is a passion. If we can harness that passion then this sport will thrive,” Mr Canty said. HRV CEO David Martin said Mr Canty’s racing and business background had him well positioned to guide HRV’s racing functions. “Glen’s intimate knowledge of the Victorian racing landscape and the complexities our industry faces will certainly assist him in this role. I am very happy to welcome him to the team and I know he is looking forward to getting started,” Mr Martin said. Mr Canty said the trots in Victoria conjured pleasant memories of his childhood days. “This is somewhat of a homecoming,” he said. “My childhood was spent at the trots. Dad bought his first horse with family members in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s and early 1980s that we had any real success. Mister Music had six wins at the Showgrounds among 16 overall, while Dunsinane won the Stawell Cup amid 18 career wins.” Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing of Graeme Maher, who lost his long and spirited fight against pancreatic cancer yesterday. Graeme was a passionate trotsgoer for the majority of his life, closely following his father, Len, who trained several horses and had great success with fast-class performer Transpec in the late 1970s and early 80s. Graeme himself drove 27 winners, including two metro victories aboard Stephen John, who he also piloted in the 2011 Breeders Crown 3YO Trotters’ Final. But it was on the other side of the fence where Graeme made his real mark globally. Maher was instrumental in the change of mindset that has seen the track preparation mentality change from ‘hard means fast’ to providing a cushioned surface which will not only promote slick times but will make the horses more comfortable and ultimately keep them sound and help prolong their future. The track conditioner, which plays an integral part in providing an optimum cushion, was introduced to Victorian trots by Graeme at his home track Bendigo in 1991. He was also responsible for turning the track around in his stint as track manager at Moonee Valley and has now overseen the preparation and maintenance of Victorian tracks for nearly two decades. Graeme was an inaugural member of the HRV Track Maintenance Subcommittee in 2002, which has been proactive in ensuring well-designed tracks, the most conducive maintenance methods and training of curators. Graeme has been the key player behind the highly successful track maintenance seminars that HRV has conducted regularly over the past 15 years for Victorian curators but which have also attracted significant representation from interstate and New Zealand. He built a strong rapport and friendship with many of his counterparts including American track guru Dan Coon and his New Zealand track inspector equivalent John Denton, who attributes everything to Graeme’s eminent mentorship. HRV Track Maintenance Sub-Committee Chairman Carl O’Dwyer was glowing in his praise of the subcommittee’s achievements and its team unity, while acknowledging the integral part that Maher has played. “Graeme was absolutely fanatical and immersed with harness racing tracks and was always seeking ways of improvement though forever mindful of the welfare of the horse,” O’Dwyer said. “He was a valuable member of a proficient and united subcommittee and was largely responsible for the successful placement of canola oil on the Shepparton track. This innovation has resulted in providing a quality surface along with substantial savings in water and fuel costs, while tripling the life of the track material to boot.” HRV is now embarking on applying the canola oil to five of its major tracks, which will provide a further legacy to Maher’s revolutionary thinking in the future. A thanksgiving service to celebrate the life of Graeme Leonard Maher will be held at Connect Church, Solomon St, East Bendigo, on Monday, June 26, at 11 am. At the conclusion of the service, the cortege will leave for the Bendigo Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Pancare Foundation in memory of Graeme would be appreciated. Refreshments will follow at the Bendigo Harness Racing Club. by Trots Media - Rob Pongho

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has tonight announced the Group 1 Victoria Cup will be run on Saturday night, October 14, next season. The Victoria Cup will carry prizemoney of $200,000 – reduced from $400,000 in 2016-17, with the $50,000 Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters Sprint run on the same night.  The $50,000 Smoken Up Sprint will be held on October 6 as the lead-in race to the Victoria Cup, which in turn complements timing for horses wishing to participate in the New Zealand Trotting Cup and Inter Dominion. HRV CEO David Martin acknowledged the scale of the change, explaining that the reduced prizemoney would enable the provision of more races to the industry, and thereby contribute to a continuation of an increased participation rate evident in recent months.  “Importantly, the Victoria Cup will retain its Grand Circuit status and remain a key feature of our racing calendar,” Mr Martin said. Mr Martin also said the alteration would allow the Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star to become the headline act on night one of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, January 27. “There will be multiple Group 1 events on the first night of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton, so it will remain an elite program with the Great Southern Star the main race, but also featuring the Victoria Derby and the Ladyship Cup,” Mr Martin said. “Night two of the Summer of Glory will feature the Group 1 A. G. Hunter Cup and the Group 1 V. L. Dullard Trotters Cup.  The Ballarat Cup is the week before Great Southern Star night and it made sense not to have three straight Group 1 pacing events of similar distances in three weeks. We wanted to ensure the Hunter Cup attracted the best field possible as part of our Summer of Glory.” Today’s announcement means the Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Cup will be the lead-in race to the A.G. Hunter Cup, with Grand Circuit horses likely to take a week off between the two events. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Chairman Dale Monteith has congratulated HRV Board member Brett Clothier on his recent appointment as Head of the independent Athletics Integrity Unit, as advised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). In due course HRV will advise on Mr Clothier's role in consultation with the Minister for Racing. "I would like to publicly congratulate Brett and wish him well with his appointment," Mr Monteith said. "Brett is an outstanding administrator and sports integrity professional and has made a valuable contribution to HRV in the relatively short time he has been a director. On behalf of the Board I wish him well in his new position." In addition to his HRV Board duties Mr Clothier sits on the HRV Integrity Council, which is chaired by John Doherty. "Brett has been a tremendous member of the HRV Integrity Council with a strong background in the field and an attention to detail that is second to none. I wish him all the best in his new position," Mr Doherty said. CODY WINNELL

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards today announced an immediate amendment to its Change of Tactics policy. At the Harness Racing Australia (HRA) National Integrity Conference in May, the change of driving tactic requirements within the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) were again the subject of discussion. Following a review of the HRV COT Policy, which included consultation with the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA) and approval from the HRV Board, HRV stewards have amended the application of the HRV COT Policy with immediate effect. View the full details Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered a charge issued against licensed trainer Mr Boris Devcic under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 193(1) relating to a stable inspection conducted by HRV Stewards on 4 January 2017.  AHRR 193(1) states:  A person shall not attempt to stomach tube or stomach tube a horse nominated for a race or event within 48 hours of the commencement of the race or event.  The particulars of this charge were that on 4 January 2017 Mr Devcic stomach tubed the horse ‘Flagbearer’ which was engaged to race at the Mildura harness racing meeting that evening.  Mr Devcic pleaded guilty to this charge and after considering submissions regarding penalty the HRV RAD Board imposed a 9 month disqualification, to commence at midnight on 18 June 2017.  In determining penalty the HRV RAD Board considered the following: Mr Devcic’s early guilty plea and co-operation with the Stewards. Mr Devcic’s awareness of the relevant rule Previous penalties for similar offences.  Specific and general deterrence.  That breaches of this rule are serious offences and the need to send a message that such offences are unacceptable. The Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board (RADB) is established under section 50B of the Racing Act (1958). The RADB is an independent Board established to hear and determine appeals in relation to decisions made under the rules to impose penalties on persons and to hear and determine charges made against persons for serious offences.  HRV RAD Board – Boris Devcic 

On 13 June 2017, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards conducted an inquiry in relation to an incident at the Australasian Premier Trotting Sales held at the Inglis Complex in Oaklands Junction on 2 April 2017. As a part of this investigation, HRV Stewards had obtained evidence from industry participants Roy Spencer, Jamie Quinlan, Michael Taylor and Duncan McPherson.  Upon consideration of all the evidence, Mr Spencer pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct under Australian Harness Racing Rule 231(2). The particulars of the charge being that at the Australasian Premier Trotting Sales at the Inglis Complex in Oaklands Junction on 2 April 2017, Mr Spencer made inappropriate comments towards Mr Taylor whilst in the presence of the other two aforementioned industry participants. Mr Spencer was fined $500 with a portion of $250 suspended for a period of two years provided Mr Spencer does not reoffend under the same rule within that period. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account the following factors: • Mr Spencer’s guilty plea and previously unblemished record in the industry over approximately 45 years; • Mr Spencer’s forthright evidence and obvious remorse shown for this occurrence; • The need for consistency of penalty in relation to such matters of misconduct. VIC - HRV Stewards Inquiry - Mr Roy Spencer Harness Racing Victoria  

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) CEO David Martin will attend Thursday’s Caduceus Club luncheon at the Amora Hotel in Richmond to consult on HRV’s strategic direction. This forum will provide the Melbourne community and the Caduceus Club members the opportunity to be actively engaged in the consultation process. Guests can arrive from 12.30pm for a 1pm start. The Amora Hotel is 649 Bridge Rd, Richmond. All are welcome. More details on the Caduceus Club can be found here:  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Cobram and District Harness Racing Club’s $60000 stabling complex is near completion. The complex currently contains four large stables and yards. Club secretary Bob Watson said the stables and yards were being constructed to the highest standard. ‘‘They are complete with water and power connection,’’ Mr Watson said. ‘‘The club is now awaiting the arrival of storage containers for each stable and gravel for the entrance and yards, due any day. ‘‘To complete the training complex, the club has recently upgraded the training track for the convenience of resident trainers. ‘‘Cobram Harness Racing is very excited about the new complex and the numerous opportunities it brings.’’ Mr Watson said the club and the harness community would not have been able to achieve the new stable complex without financial backing. ‘‘We are extremely appreciative of the outstanding financial support received from the Victorian Government and Harness Racing Victoria to make the project possible, realising a dream come true.’’ By COURIER COBRAM Reprinted with permission of The Riverine Herald

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn of the passing of former Harness Racing Victoria steward Brian Andrews. Mr Andrews was a steward at HRV in the late 1980s-early 1990s. However, he is better known for his deeds in the saddle in the world of thoroughbred racing. Mr Andrews won the 1973 Caulfield Cup aboard Swell Time, which defeated Gala Supreme and Young Ida in a time of 2:35.9 (photo attached of media coverage for that win). A premiership-winning jockey in New Zealand, Mr Andrews was the fourth Kiwi hoop to complete a century when he won the 1970-71 title with 102 wins. He also won the 1966 Wellington Cup on Red Crest, the 1973 Auckland Cup on Apollo Eleven and the 1974 International Invitation Stakes on Battle Heights. Mr Andrews combined with Merv Ritchie-trained Apollo Eleven to win the Chipping Norton Stakes during a Sydney autumn campaign, which also saw them combine to win the Tancred Cup, Sydney Cup and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Mr Andrews relocated to Melbourne in 1976. Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued against licensed trainer Michael Doltoff under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 196B(1) and 187(2) relating to a stable visit conducted by HRV Stewards on 8 December 2016. AHRR 196B(1) states: A person shall not without the permission of the Stewards within one (1) clear day of the commencement of a race administer, attempt to administer or cause to be administered an injection to a horse nominated for that race. The particulars of this charge were that on 8 December 2016, Mr Doltoff did administer an injection to the horse ‘Valtona’ which was engaged to race at Yarra Valley the following day. AHRR 187(2) states:  A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry or investigation.  Mr Doltoff was issued with two separate charges under this rule, being that when questioned about the blood on the floor of the wash bay he initially stated that it was not as a result of an injection administered to ‘Valtona’ that day and also that the drip bag hanging in the wash bay was to be used for ‘General Joy’ and not ‘Valtona’. Mr Doltoff pleaded guilty to all three charges and the HRV RAD Board heard submissions regarding penalty.  After considering penalty submissions relating to AHRR 196B(1), that included recent comparable penalties, Mr Doltoff’s offence record and the seriousness of this particular offence, Mr Doltoff was issued with a fine of $4000.  In relation to the two charges under AHRR 187(2) for giving false and misleading evidence, Mr Doltoff was fined the sum of $250 on each charge, with particular consideration given to the relatively short time between the false evidence and the subsequent admission. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board  Harness Racing Victoria

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