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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer-driver Craig Turnbull under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states:     A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The AHRR defines "Race" as a race or official trial or official time trial or event in which harness racing horses race or participate. It is alleged that Mr Turnbull presented ‘The Russian’ to race at the Kyabram trial meeting on 24 September 2017 when not free of the prohibited substance frusemide. 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 issued a charge against licensed trainer Heather Morrissey 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 the horse ‘Tryncatchme’ was presented to race at St Arnaud on 31 December 2017 by Mrs Morrissey when not free of the prohibited substance dexamethasone. HRV Stewards also issued a further charge under AHRR 190B which requires trainers to keep and maintain a logbook listing all therapeutic substances in their possession and recording all treatments administered to horses in their care. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

On 2 May 2018, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board considered five charges issued against formerly licensed person Andrew Jordan under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 190(1), 187(2), 239A and 190B. Charge 1, under AHRR 190(1) which states: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The particulars of this charge related to a post-race urine sample collected from the horse ‘Staress’ at Cranbourne on 30 April 2017. ‘Staress’ finished first in Race 8, the ‘Blue Hills Rise Pace’. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely cobalt, above the allowable threshold of 100 micrograms per litre (µg/L). The reserve sample analysis by the Racing Science Centre (Qld) confirmed the result. Charge 2 and 3, under AHRR 187(2) which 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 The particulars of Charge 2 were that Mr Jordan provided evidence that he was not in possession of any injectable treatments, which was evidence he knew to be false.  The particulars of Charge 3 were that Mr Jordan provided evidence that he did not administer any injectable treatments to ‘Staress’, which was evidence he knew to be false. Charge 4, under AHRR 239A which states: A person whose conduct or negligence has led or could lead to a breach of the rules is guilty of an offence.  The particulars of this charge related to Mr Jordan’s conduct in allowing unlicensed person, Mrs Gaita Pullicino, to be responsible for the purchase and preparation of injectable treatments for horses in his care, including ‘Staress’.  Charge 5, under AHRR 190B, related to Mr Jordan’s failure to keep and maintain a log book as required.  Mr Jordan was represented at the hearing by Mr Tony Nolan QC, and pleaded guilty to all of the charges. Ms Amy Wood appeared for the HRV Stewards. Ms Wood and Mr Nolan addressed the Board in relation to penalty and other matters. By consent, the particulars to charge 4 contained in paragraph 3 were removed. The parties were also asked to address the Board as to its powers to suspend a nonlicensed person. The Board noted that paragraph 3 of the definition of ‘suspension’ contained in the rules reads as follows –   (iii) In relation to a non-licensed person means the temporary or permanent withdrawal of a right to participate in a facet of the Harness Racing Industry   Penalty   In determining penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Jordan’s guilty pleas, good record, the impact of any penalty on Mr Jordan, specific and general deterrence, the purpose of the prohibited substance rules and consistency of penalties in relation to cobalt cases.   Taking all of these matters into account, the HRV RAD Board imposed the following penalties:    Charge 1 – 12 month suspension from employment in the harness racing industry, which includes holding a trainers, drivers or stablehand license. Mr Jordan was also suspended from attending any stable during this period. This suspension was ordered to commence at midnight 2 May 2018.   Charge 2 - $250 fine   Charge 3 - $250 fine   Charge 4 - $750 fine   Charge 5 - $250 fine.   The HRV RAD Board also ordered (under rule 195) that ‘Staress’ be disqualified from Race 8 at Cranbourne on 30 April 2017 and that the placings be amended accordingly.   HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Robert Abrahams, Rod Osborne      

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer Jason McNaulty 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 McNaulty presented the horse ‘Fratellino NZ’ to race at Maryborough on 2 February 2018 when not free of the prohibited substance heptaminol. Mr McNaulty has been issued with a further charge for failing to keep and maintain a log book in accordance with the AHRR. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed. Harness Racing Victoria

On 25 January 2018, licensed trainer/driver Mr Larry Eastman was convicted in the Bendigo Magistrates Court of five criminal charges that included using corrupt conduct information for betting purposes and engaging in conduct that corrupts or would corrupt a betting outcome of an event. Subsequently, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against Mr Larry Eastman under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 267 which states: Subject to sub-rule (2) the Stewards may for such period and on such conditions as they think fit, disqualify a person who is found guilty of a crime or an offence in any State or Territory of Australia or in any country. As a result of Mr Eastman’s conviction and through further investigations by HRV Stewards, charges have also been issued against the following licensed persons;  Mr Scott Dyer (8 charges), Ms Lynette Eastman (3 Charges) and Mr Danny O’Bree (2 Charges). All charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.     Harness Racing Victoria

The Victorian harness racing industry, local breeders and country clubs will benefit from a $1 million investment announced today by the Andrews Labor Government as part of the Victorian Budget 2018/19. The funding support was welcomed by Harness Racing Victoria’s Chairman, Dale Monteith, who thanked the Andrews Labor Government for its ongoing commitment to the Victorian trots industry.  "We are pleased the Andrews Labor Government, Treasurer Tim Pallas and Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula continue to recognise the importance of harness racing to Victoria," Mr Monteith said. “Harness racing provides $435 million per annum of economic value to the state and creates the equivalent of 4000 full-time jobs, the majority in regional areas.”  Off the back of today’s announcement, Harness Racing Victoria’s CEO David Martin confirmed that between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019, HRV would waive the registration fee for Victorian-bred foals from a Victorian mare and a Victorian standing stallion. During this same period, HRV will also reduce registration fees for foals from a Victorian mare by an interstate or overseas stallion. “We’ve listened to feedback from the industry and with this one-year stimulus from the State Government, we are taking action to reduce costs for breeders to encourage a vibrant breeding industry,” Mr Martin said Importantly, today’s funding will also facilitate infrastructure upgrades at country clubs. “Country clubs play a vital role in our industry and this additional funding will enable them to make much needed improvements,” Mr Martin said.  A portion of the funding support will also be allocated for marketing activity to promote harness racing, including the 2018 Inter Dominion, which returns to Victoria for the first time in 10 years.  “The Inter Dominion is the race that the champions of our sport want to win. We want to encourage the public to feel the thrill and excitement that this event will bring,” Mr Martin said.  The million-dollar commitment follows the Andrews Labor Government’s funding announcement last year to bolster HRV’s integrity department, while harness racing continues to benefit via the Victorian Racing Industry Fund. “The turn-around in performance for Victorian trots is already under way and this funding support will help as we continue to climb back to the prominent position our sport has traditionally had in the Victorian community,” Mr Martin said.  HRV Media & Communications Manager Cody Winnell on cwinnell@hrv.org.au or 03 8378 0288  Harness Racing Victoria

Adelaide Crows star Josh Jenkins has won the 2018 Top of the Trots competition, which was played out during the Trots Country Cups Championship via Crocmedia's Off the Bench radio program. Beamed into all areas of regional Victoria, listeners of the high-rating show heard Jenkins, along with Off the Bench hosts Craig Hutchison, Liam Pickering and Dr Turf trade drivers in and out in a fantasy sports style trots competition. Jenkins scored the most points and in doing so secured $4000 courtesy of Harness Racing Victoria to Make-A-Wish Australia, helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses. The three runners-up all secured $500 each for their charities, with Fight MND, Ronald McDonald House and the Women's Cancer Foundation all benefiting. In one final push to raise funds, HRV through its partnership with TAB have put up four $100 bets for the competitors to use tonight with all proceeds donated to the charities. Full coverage, including the horses that will be running tonight to raise funds for the charities at thetrots.com.au Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to charges issued by HRV Stewards against licensed trainer-driver Brett Cox. Mr Cox was issued with two charges under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 241, which reads as follows: A person shall not in connection with any part of the harness racing industry do anything which is fraudulent or corrupt. The particulars of these charges were that Mr Cox acted fraudulently in relation to receiving payment for the training of the standardbred horses ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ between February and April 2017, when these horses were spelling and not being prepared for racing at the relevant time. Mr Cox also acted fraudulently in advising the owners in August 2017 that these horses were present at his registered training establishment when they had been removed. In addition to the above charges, Mr Cox was also issued with a charge under AHRR 243, which reads as follows:  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 this charge were that Mr Cox provided false information to licensed trainer-driver Kate Attard which lead to ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ being given away in July 2017 without the consent of the owners and the horses ultimately being destroyed. Mr Cox was also issued with two charges under AHRR 187(2), which reads as follows: 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 of investigation. The particulars of these charges were that Mr Cox, in an interview with HRV Stewards on 22 November 2017, gave false and misleading information in relation to an investigation being conducted by HRV Stewards into this matter. Mr Cox was also issued two charges under AHRR 96A(3), which reads as follows: Where a registered horse has been retired from racing or a decision has been made to not race the horse, the owner or trainer of the horse at the time of its retirement must, within one month of the horse’s retirement, notify the Registrar by lodging the relevant form prescribed by the Registrar. The particulars of these charges were that Mr Cox failed to notify HRV that ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ had been retired from racing and did not lodge the relevant form with the HRV Registrar.   Mr Cox pleaded guilty to all charges. In respect of the charges pursuant to AHRR 241 and 243, Mr Cox was disqualified for a period of 3 years, which is effective immediately. In respect of the charges pursuant to AHRR 187(2) and 96A(3), Mr Cox was issued a fine of $750 for each breach, resulting in a penalty of $3000 in total. In determining penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the serious consequences which resulted from the conduct of Mr Cox, the importance of animal welfare and the need for specific and general deterrence to protect the harness racing industry.  In addition, the HRV RAD Board took into account Mr Cox’s guilty plea and his regret in relation to the matter. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Nicholas Rolfe. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board       

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 Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 241 against Angela Gilbert (unlicensed participant). AHRR 241 reads as follows: A person shall not in connection with any part of the harness racing industry do anything which is fraudulent or corrupt. The charge under AHRR 241 issued by HRV Stewards against Ms Gilbert related to the movement and rehoming of standardbred horses in July 2017.  Acting on information from an industry participant that two standardbred horses were available to be rehomed, Ms Gilbert attended a registered harness racing property of the industry participant in Victoria where she collected the standardbred horses. The horses were given to Ms Gilbert for free and she advised the industry participant that these horses would re-educated and rehomed.  Ms Gilbert initially advised HRV Stewards that the horses were re-educated and rehomed, but later confirmed that she had in fact sold the horses to the Echuca Horse Sales, from where they were purchased by an abattoir and destroyed shortly thereafter.  At the hearing the HRV RAD Board determined that Ms Gilbert, despite being an unlicensed person and not being a registered owner, was carrying on activities that related to the harness racing industry and therefore was bound by the rules because of the operation of AHRR 299. AHRR 299 reads as follows: All persons (a) licensed under these rules; (b) carrying on or purporting to carry on activities related to the harness racing industry; or (c) who in some other way are affected by the rules; are deemed to have knowledge of and be bound by them and of all the things done under them. Ms Gilbert did not appear at the hearing. The HRV RAD Board considered submissions from HRV Stewards relating to recent communication with Ms Gilbert and notification of the charge and hearing date and determined to proceed in her absence under Victoria Local Rule 50(1)(a). The HRV RAD Board, after hearing evidence from HRV Stewards and after taking into consideration all relevant material including interviews, statements and exhibits, found Ms Gilbert guilty of the charge issued under AHRR 241. After considering submissions from the HRV Stewards in relation to the importance of animal welfare, specific and general deterrence and the need to protect the harness racing industry, the HRV RAD Board imposed a disqualification period of 18 months against Ms Gilbert, which is effective immediately. Ms Gilbert was also fined $810, which equates to the amount that was earned in selling the standardbred horses to the Echuca Horse Sales. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Nicholas Rolfe. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

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 Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 243 against licensed trainer-driver Kate Attard. AHRR 243 reads as follows: 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 were that Ms Attard permitted the standardbred horses ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ to be given away for rehoming in July 2017, without notifying the owners and without their consent, which led to the horses ultimately being destroyed. Ms Attard pleaded guilty to the charge. The HRV RAD Board fined Ms Attard $5000, of which $2500 was suspended for a period of 2 years. In determining penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the serious consequences which resulted from the conduct of Ms Attard, the importance of animal welfare and the need for specific and general deterrence to protect the harness racing industry. In addition, the HRV RAD Board took into account Ms Attard’s guilty plea and the mitigating circumstances in relation to her involvement in the matter. The HRV RAD Board was also mindful of Ms Attard’s cooperation throughout the investigation, her good record and her positive standing in the harness racing industry. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Nicholas Rolfe. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board     

Harness Racing Victoria CEO David Martin will conduct seven public forums at clubs throughout Victoria between April and June to update the industry on all matters. The HRV CEO Annual Roadshow 2018 will take in Hamilton, Shepparton, Melton, Cranbourne, Bendigo, Ararat and Mildura and all interested industry participants, stakeholders and fans are encouraged to attend their nearest forum. "The first roadshow last year involved several public forums across Victoria and that was an incredibly important opportunity to be transparent with the industry about the challenges we faced and our approach to turning things around," Mr Martin said. "The HRV CEO Annual Roadshow 2018 will be a chance to provide a quick review of where we were at in early 2017, how we've performed as an industry since, and of course the all-important consultation about what our priorities should be for 2019 and beyond. "I'm really looking forward to this Roadshow and the genuine input from passionate trots people across Victoria, so we can continue working together to take the industry forward." The table below outlines the venue, start time and date for the HRV CEO Annual Roadshow 2018. HRV CEO Roadshow 2018 Location Time & Date Hamilton 7.30pm Friday, 6 April 2018 Shepparton 7.30pm Wednesday, 11 April 2018 Melton 7.30pm Monday, 30 April 2018 Cranbourne 7.30pm Tuesday, 1 May 2018 Bendigo 7.30pm Tuesday, 8 May 2018 Ararat 7.30pm Tuesday, 22 May 2018 Mildura 7.30pm Friday, 1 June 2018 Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has agreed to trial a sprint lane extension at Tabcorp Park Melton following a submission from the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA). The sprint lane will be extended by 40 metres for an initial one-month trial. The basis of the trial is to assess the pattern of racing and evaluate whether the extension provides horses with greater opportunities to win. The new sprint lane will see the red peg positioned at the 190m mark and the sprint lane completely open at 168m. The initial trial will run from Wednesday March 14 up to and including Friday April 13. HRV is encouraging feedback from all industry stakeholders, including participants and punters during the trial. To have your say, email info@hrv.org.au and include ‘Sprint Lane Trial’ in your email subject.  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 Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer Maryanne Laffan. 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 Ms Laffan related to a post-race blood sample collected from the horse ‘Westvillageemily’ after winning Race 4, the ‘Great Northern Super Crisp 3YO Pace’, on 25 July 2017 at the Kilmore harness racing meeting. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the blood sample revealed the sample to contain a prohibited substance, namely alkalinising agents as evidenced by a total carbon dioxide (TCO2) concentration in excess of 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasma. This analysis was confirmed by referee analysis of the blood sample at the Racing Science Centre in Brisbane. Ms Laffan pleaded not guilty to the charge before submissions were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Andrew Peace, acting on behalf of Ms Laffan.  The charge against Ms Laffan was subsequently found proven by the HRV RAD Board In determining penalty the HRV RAD Board considered the following: The serious nature of this particular rule breach, which was evidenced by a very high TCO2 concentration of greater than 39 millimoles per litre in plasma; Ms Laffan’s not-guilty plea; Ms Laffan’s disciplinary record, which included a previous TCO2 matter; Previous penalties for similar offences and the need for consistency; Specific and general deterrence; Ms Laffan’s personal circumstances put forward by her representative. In considering all of these matters, the HRV RAD Board disqualified Ms Laffan for a period of 12 months, deemed to commence immediately. The HRV RAD Board also ordered, under AHRR 195, that ‘Westvillageemily’ be disqualified from Race 4 at Kilmore on 25 July 2017 and the placings amended accordingly.  HRV RAD Board Panel: John Doherty (Deputy Chair), John Kearney, Kerry Willcock Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

After feedback and consultation with industry participants, Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announces the following changes to stake payments effective from the stake payment on March 2, 2018:   1. Stake payments for races with prizemoney of $10,000 and below will no longer have to wait for the release of swab results and will be paid in the next stake payment following the race;   2. The frequency of stake payment has been increased so that a payment will now occur each fortnight opposed to the previous schedule of twice per month (in some previous months it could be up to three weeks between stake payments).   “These changes will result in the vast majority of industry participants receiving stake payments earlier, more frequently and at regular intervals,” HRV General Manager Finance Luke Spano said.   “We understand the importance of this for participants managing their cash flows.”   Mr Spano also advised that because 51 per cent of participants are still receiving printed stake payment notifications by the post (even though HRV has email addresses for 95 per cent of participants), the fortnightly cost to the industry is about $2000 – and annually about $50,000.   HRV will advise these participants via letter that unless HRV is advised why a paper notification is required, future payment notifications will be sent via email to the current email address on record, thereby enabling a cost saving that can be redirected into other areas that will provide greater benefit to the industry. HRV reminds all participants to ensure that their contact details are up to date.   Cody Winnell

Ninety-five per cent of Victorian trots race meetings will be covered by head-on camera footage following a Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) initiative jointly funded by the State Government's Racing Infrastructure Fund (VRIF). Twelve country trots venues (Charlton, Cobram, Echuca, Geelong, Hamilton, Horsham, Maryborough, Mildura, Shepparton, Stawell, Terang and Warragul) will have head-on cameras installed as part of the $200,809 project. The Daniel Andrews Government will contribute $100,405 to the project under the VRIF. Full story at TheTrots.com.au   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER    

Introducing HQ, the latest podcast from Trots Media at Harness Racing Victoria (HRV). This podcast is a little different. It is all about lifting the curtain on the projects and plans, initiatives and goals of HRV so that the industry participants gain a stronger understanding of the who, what, when, where and why behind HQ. Each week hosts Michael Howard and Cody Winnell will deliver key interviews with HRV colleagues, beginning with General Manager of Marketing Andrew English. It's a big year for HRV with the Inter Dominion to be hosted in Victoria for the first time in 10 years, so Andrew's insights into the direction of marketing will be of great interest to trots fans. Subscribe to Trots Media via iTunes or Apple Podcasts - or however you access your podcasts - so that you don't miss notification when new content is published. And you can join the HQ discussion on social media using #TheTrotsHQ hashtag.  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO HQ Trots Media

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