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Four alleged race fixers could face up to 10 years in prison for a crime that netted only a few grand. Mark Ryan Pitt, Amanda Turnbull, Lisa Carol Bartley and Nathan Jack faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday for their alleged involvement in a crime that rocked the Victorian harness racing community. The four accused came to court for what was scheduled to be a committal mention, but due to complications in how the case progressed from previous mentions it did not proceed. Court documents obtained by The News showed how the group allegedly gamed the racing and betting system for minor financial gain. The crime was allegedly committed at Cobram Harness Racing Club on June 22, 2015, when Airbournemagic won the fourth race of the day. It paid off for the people that backed the horse thanks to its good odds from the bookies. According to the charges, Airbournemagic was allegedly at the stables of Amanda Turnbull, a highly-regarded trainer, and Nathan Jack, an experienced reinsman. But the details given to Harness Racing Victoria stated that Airbournemagic was at the stables of another person. This person’s name has been suppressed by the court. Due to the incorrect information that was allegedly given to Harness Racing Victoria, this increased the odds given by betting agencies. When Nathan Jack took to the track with his horse Tooram Lad, he allegedly allowed Airbournemagic, which was close behind him for much of the race, to win. According to the charges Nathan Jack was ‘‘overtly and continually looking behind his shoulder’’ at Airbournemagic, which was driven by Mark Pitt for much of the race. According to previous reports, it was this behaviour that initially raised the suspicions of race officials. Watch this race here Amanda Turnbull allegedly got a family member to place a bet on the race, which paid off with winnings of $2236.23. Lisa Bartley, who allegedly helped with the training of Airbournemagic along with Nathan Jack, also allegedly won $2274.24 on a winning bet on the race. Many of the charges face maximum sentences of 10 years in prison. No pleas have yet been entered and the case will next face Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on November 27. By Barclay White Reprinted with permission of the Shepparton News

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today announced the 2017-18 Victorian Square Trotters Association/Melton Saddlery Maori’s Idol Trophy Series will carry a $10,000 bonus for winning trainer and connections ($5k to owner and $5k to trainer). The VSTA/Melton Saddlery Maori’s Idol Trophy, named in honour of Australia’s most famous trotter of all, gets under way at Swan Hill on Saturday night with the running of the Swan Hill Trotters Cup. Twenty-five races make up the VSTA/Melton Saddlery Maori’s Idol Trophy championship, drawing top-class trotters to all parts of regional Victoria. Today’s announcement means trotting horses in Victoria are now competing for championship bonus prizemoney in addition to the pacers, who will compete for a $25,000 bonus as part of the Trots Country Cups Championship. The Victorian pacing and trotting country cups circuit provides participants with the most lucrative regional feature race calendar in Australia. Quotes attributable to Harness Racing Victoria General Manager Racing Glen Canty “Victoria is a long-time proponent of the international gait and leads the way in providing opportunities for trotters. The new $10,000 bonus for the Maori’s Idol Trophy winner will provide further incentive for owners to race a trotter, in addition to the already lucrative prizemoney on offer. “The bonuses attached to the trotting and pacing country cup championships will help draw top-quality horses to regional areas throughout Victoria, supporting clubs to put on a first-class race day or night and giving country trots fans the best opportunity to see star horses up close.” Quote attributable to Victorian Square Trotters Association Secretary Ian White “The Victorian Square Trotters Association is excited to welcome this announcement. We are thankful for the ongoing commitment from HRV to supporting all trotting participants in Victoria.” Trots Media

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 259(1) (g) & (h), 187(6), 187(2) and 187(1) against former licensed person Daryl Douglas.  Charge 1, under AHRR 259(1) (g) & (h), which reads as follows: 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 –  (g) enter any premises used for the purpose of the harness racing industry; (h) participate in any manner in the harness racing industry; The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas participated in the harness racing industry on 27 February 2017, while disqualified, by entering the registered training establishment of licensed trainer Marnie Bibby, exercising standardbreds and leading ‘Ubringthedrinks’ to the stable tie-up area. Charge 2, under AHRR 187(6), which reads as follows: A person shall not frustrate or endeavour to frustrate an inquiry or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017 when HRV Stewards approached Mr Douglas he ran and concealed himself in a dog kennel. Charge 3, 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 or investigation. The particulars of this charge were that on 27 February 2017, when HRV Stewards located Mr Douglas, he refused to answer questions and subsequently left the property. Charge 4, under AHRR 187(1), which reads as follows: A person who is directed to do so by the Stewards shall attend an inquiry or investigation convened or conducted by them.  The particulars of this charge were that Mr Douglas failed to attend an inquiry scheduled for 3 April 2017 to answer questions in relation to the previously mentioned matters.  This HRV RAD Board hearing had previously been adjourned on 24 May 2017 and 25 July 2017. Mr Douglas failed to appear on this re-scheduled date and the HRV RAD Board determined to conduct the hearing in his absence acting under Victorian Local Rule 50(1)(a). The charges were found proven and the HRV RAD Board heard submissions on penalty from the HRV Stewards. The HRV RAD Board also considered both specific and general deterrence along with penalties in previous matters with similar circumstances and issued the following penalties: Charge 1: 2 month disqualification Charge 2: $1000 fine Charge 3: $1000 fine Charge 4: Mr Douglas be warned off until he attends a HRV Stewards inquiry   HRV RAD Board Panel: Brian Collis QC (Deputy Chairman) Dr Hugh Millar / Rebecca Oliver (Members) Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will become the first harness racing jurisdiction in Australia to implement a minimum bet policy with approved Wagering Service Providers (WSPs). Effective 1 January, 2018, WSPs will be required to: Accept a fixed odds win bet at odds which are publicly displayed by the WSP for Victorian harness race to stand to lose a maximum amount of $1000 for Victorian metropolitan meetings (Friday, Saturday or Sunday at Tabcorp Park Melton) Accept a fixed odds win bet at odds which are publicly displayed by the WSP for Victorian harness race to stand to lose a maximum amount of $500 for Victorian country meetings Publish fixed odds on Victorian harness racing fields no later than one (1) hour prior to each applicable race HRV will implement a formal online complaint process for customers who believe a wagering operator has wrongfully refused their bet or excluded them in contravention of the minimum limit conditions. Quotes attributable to HRV CEO David Martin “I’m pleased to announce these significant wagering changes, which will enable harness punters to get on for a fair amount with authorised Wagering Service Providers in Victoria.” “This minimum bet policy and the recent $3.1m Integrity funding announcement, together with an increase in race numbers all give punters greater confidence in Victorian trots.” “It’s positive news for all Victorian harness racing industry participants, as wagering revenue helps drive investment across all areas of the sport.” Trots Media

Prior to 1997, only four horses had won multiple harness racing Victoria Cups. They were Koala King (1978, 79 and 80), Popular Alm (1982 and 83), Bag Limit (1987 and 88) and Sinbad Bay (1989 and 91). Despite his horse being an 11-1 shot, Kiwi trainer Cran Dalgety would have had every confidence in '97 that his 1996 Victoria Cup winner Desperate Comment could go back-to-back, because ‘Spike’, as he was affectionately known, was a warrior. “He had an amazing will to win,” Dalgety said of Desperate Comment looking back at the million-dollar stakes earner’s career ($1,033,065 in prize money to be exact). Eight years old and lining up from the pole draw on February 1 1997, at Moonee Valley Desperate Comment was a distant third-favourite with punters in the Vic Cup behind Iraklis (1-4fav) and Our Sir Vancelot (5-1). A year prior, Peter Jones had steered Desperate Comment to success in the Victoria Cup over Burlington Bertie and Norms Daughter. Now Graeme Lang was in the gig behind the Kiwi superstar. Early doors in the 2380m feature everything went to script for favourite backers with Iraklis cruising to the front for Ricky May from gate two. Trainer Robert Cameron had two representatives in the race, Iraklis and 20-1 shot Anvils Star. After a couple of hundred metres they were one-two on the rails, with Anthony Butt pushing Anvils Star on to the leader’s back position ahead of Desperate Comment, who drifted back in the early section to land the often-awkward three-fence position. When The Suleiman pushed to the chair – eventually and under driving – with a lap and a half to go there was some extra heat up front, but nothing too major and the favourite always appeared to travel well. Into the back straight the final time and Desperate Comment remained three back on the rails, but 100m later he began to emerge as Lang started plotting a path between runners. They went 28.1 for the third split, so Iraklis by this stage was fair humming, and both Our Sir Vancelot and Desperate Comment were in the clear around the famous Moonee Valley home turn the final time. Iraklis had a strong kick and halfway up the straight looked as though he may have put the result to bed. But, alas for May and Iraklis, the winning post just never seemed to come, and Desperate Comment swooped down the outside to score a neck win over another fast-finisher in Anvils Star, who finally saw daylight, with Iraklis battling into third place beaten one metre. The winning rate was 1:58.2 and the last split 28.3. For Dalgety, looking back to earlier in Desperate Comment's career, success didn’t take long to arrive. At just this third start with the Kentuckiana Lodge stable, ‘Spike’ beat Grand Circuit superstars Master Musician and Blossom Lady to land the Group 1 Easter Cup at Addington for reinsman Jimmy Curtin. “Admired, respected and loved for his courage, determination and attitude,” reads the headstone above where the champion pacer’s ashes now rest in the garden adjacent to the stable complex at Kentuckiana Lodge. “Champion racehorse, world record holder, millionaire pacer, winner of 28 races. Born Auckland 22-11-1988, died Melbourne 26-9-1997.  His memory will live on in the hearts of Allan Campbell, Joe Mullins and Graham Pilkington (owners), Cran Dalgety (trainer), Peter Jones (driver) and all who were privileged to know him.” Desperate Comment fractured a near pastern when racing at the peak of his powers in August 1997. “The fractured leg just disintegrated at a later date and he had to be put down,” Dalgety said. “When you look back, it was a good effort for him to just crack the million in stakes when he did all his racing as an older horse.” Desperate Comment won 28 races from 76 starts.  Book your place at this year's Allied Express Victoria Cup Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued against licensed trainer-driver Brian Sylvia under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 193(1), 187(2) and 187(3) relating to HRV Stewards surveillance of his property on 6 April 2017.  Charge 1, under AHRR 193(1) which 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 6 April 2017 Mr Sylvia stomach tubed the horse ‘Elslatsy’ which was engaged to race at the Mildura harness racing meeting that evening. Charges 2, 3 and 4, 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 Sylvia gave evidence that he did not stomach tube the horse ‘Elslatsy’, which was evidence he knew to be false.  The particulars of Charge 3 were that Mr Sylvia provided evidence that he was not in possession of a blue bucket, which he later retrieved. The particulars of Charge 4 were that Mr Sylvia refused to produce stomach tubing equipment from his residence when requested to do so by HRV Stewards. Charges 5 and 6, under AHRR 187(3) which states:  A person shall comply with an order or direction given by the Stewards.  The particulars of these charges related to Mr Sylvia’s failure to comply with two separate directions of the HRV Stewards to present the horse ‘Elslatsy’ to the Mildura harness racing meeting by prescribed times. At the outset of the hearing, HRV Stewards made a submission to combine charges 5 and 6 into a composite charge under AHRR 187(3).  Mr Sylvia pleaded guilty to all charges.  The HRV RAD Board considered submissions as to the circumstances surrounding the charges and on penalty from the HRV Stewards and Mr Sylvia, which included viewing surveillance footage shot from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone).  In determining penalty the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Sylvia’s guilty plea at today’s hearing, however noted his lack of cooperation with the Stewards at the outset of the investigation. The HRV RAD Board also considered Mr Sylvia’s good record over approximately 40 years in the industry, the need for both general and specific deterrence; penalties in matters of similar offending; and the seriousness of the rules in relation to prohibited substances that support both animal welfare and the need for a level playing field. After taking these factors into account, the HRV RAD Board issued the following penalties:  Charge 1 – 15 month Disqualification Charge 2 - $500 fine Charge 3 - $500 fine Charge 4 – 3 month Disqualification (to be served concurrently with Charge 1) Charge 5 - $1000 fine Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board     

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has welcomed the Andrews Labor Government’s $3.1 million funding announcement to strengthen the HRV Integrity Unit. Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today visited Geelong Harness Racing Club to announce the funding from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund. The funding will enable the HRV Integrity Unit to double the number of swabs taken annually and significantly increase out-of-competition testing and human samples. It will also ensure HRV remains at the forefront of modern investigative techniques and analysis, including use of drones. “This funding will help to ensure Harness Racing Victoria has the resources it needs to stamp out prohibited substances and stay one step ahead of emerging drug tends,” Minister Pakula said. “Integrity in racing is vital, and this funding will significantly bolster the drug screening program in harness racing.” HRV CEO David Martin welcomed the announcement. “Harness Racing Victoria thanks the Victorian Government for its support to boost our integrity efforts,” Mr Martin said. “It cannot be overstated how important integrity is within racing. This funding will enable us to double the number of swabs analysed each year, and further strengthen our ability to maintain a level playing field for all participants.” Since December 2014, the Labor Government has provided more than $10 million to assist Harness Racing Victoria and its clubs to improve racing and training facilities, upgrade public amenities and support race day attractions. Cody Winnell

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer-driver Michael Quadara. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Quadara related to a urine sample taken from the horse ‘Strapless Girl’ at the Yarra Valley trial meeting on 23 April 2017. The definition of a ‘race’ within the AHRR includes an official trial.  Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed it to contain the prohibited substance 2-(1-hydroxyethyl) promazine sulphoxide, the main metabolite in the substance ‘acepromazine’. The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) in NSW confirmed these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant urine sample.  Mr Quadara pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Quadara.  In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board highlighted the serious matter of presenting of horse to race with a prohibited substance in its system and that it was Mr Quadara’s second harness racing prohibited substance matter. The HRV RAD Board also considered the mitigating factors of Mr Quadara’s guilty plea, cooperation throughout the investigation and that the swab resulted from a trial, not a race. Mr Quadara was subsequently fined $6000, of which $2000 was suspended for a period of 12 months.  The HRV RAD Board also ordered that, under AHRR 195, ‘Strapless Girl’ be disqualified from Trial 2 at Yarra Valley on 23 April 2017. 8 September 2017  HRV RAD Board Hearing – Michael Quadara Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board  

The charitable trots and Ballarat communities have again come out in force with dining all but selling out and auction items aplenty for tomorrow night’s Connor Clarke harness racing Fundraiser. In aid of Connor, a pony trots driver battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and his family, the Ballarat and District Trotting Club has been thrilled with the response to its function, according to club business development and marketing manager Belinda Eden. “The night will hopefully raise funding to help with the costs of his travel, medical and other on-going costs,” Ms Eden said. “We’ve been inundated with support, it’s been fantastic.” In addition to about “99 per cent” of dining packages being sold, with $10 of the $35 adult ticket benefitting the Clarke family, the club will host an auction of more than 35 items. “Everyone has been amazed about the amount of people who have thrown their support behind the night, both people locally and from as far away as Queensland. The trots community has really rallied together.” The night runs from 6-10pm, with all racegoers welcome to attend and to bid on the auction items, including items that are being live on the club’s Facebook page. It will also feature four pony trots races and a donation from Harness Racing Victoria and the pony trots community to the Clarke family. CLICK HERE FOR EVENT AND AUCTION DETAILS Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator) Fields for Ballarat, Saturday 09 September 2017 Form guide for Ballarat, Saturday 09 September 2017

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV), a statutory body, is responsible for the control, development and promotion of the Victorian harness racing industry. With strong links to rural and regional communities, we are committed to developing a vibrant and sustainable harness racing industry which promotes participation, integrity and racing excellence.  With over 400 race meetings per year at 28 tracks throughout Victoria, harness racing contributes $422m p.a. to the Victorian economy and employs approximately 4000 people. Wanted a Senior Veterinarian Key Corporate Leadership role Rare opportunity to drive Equine Welfare & Compliance at industry level Career Change The Opportunity We are looking for an experienced Veterinarian to head the newly established Equine Welfare and Compliance unit within the HRV Integrity department.  You will take responsibility for managing all aspects equine compliance and welfare programs to ensure the reputation and integrity of harness racing is continually enhanced.  Reporting to the General Manager Integrity, key focus areas include: Ensuring that horse welfare practices are conducted within the Australian Harness Racing Rules Oversee the drug control program at race meetings including out of competition drug testing Educate and promote equine welfare best practice Manage implementation and roll out of microchipping in Victoria This is a full-time position.  Given the nature of the racing industry, regular travel throughout regional Victoria is essential and you will be required to work flexible hours, including weeknights and weekends. About you You will possess: Tertiary Qualifications in Veterinary Science eligible for registration in Victoria Prior experience in equine practices and welfare Able to build and maintain collaborative relationships with stakeholders Strong leadership and people management capabilities In this role, you will be able to further your management career and play a pivotal role in protecting the integrity and animal welfare in the racing industry. Benefits An opportunity to lead a new and dynamic team and be on the forefront of equine welfare practices in the racing industry Remuneration includes a fully maintained motor vehicle Ongoing training and professional development For a confidential discussion please call HRV on 03 8378 0200. Applications close 5.00pm 20 September 2017. The successful applicant will be required to satisfactorily complete background screening checks in accordance with company policy. To Apply

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today announced an exciting partnership with Alabar Bloodstock, which has joined the Trots Media team as official digital content partner. "We are stoked. Alabar has always had a strong understanding of the value associated with embracing quality digital and social media content, and it is great to have them on board as our Trots Media digital partner," HRV Media and Communications Manager Cody Winnell said. "We are proud of the content our team produces across our digital and social media platforms and we have plans to really take it up another notch in the next 12 months. To have a passionate industry brand like Alabar powering Trots Media for that digital ride is fantastic." Alabar General Manager Brett Coffey said the longstanding breeding industry leader was passionate about promoting the industry through modern media platforms. "The importance of quality content to promote the industry to a wider audience cannot be understated," Mr Coffey said. "Alabar Bloodstock is excited to be joining HRV's Trots Media team as digital partner as it is an area of promotion that this industry needs to continue to embrace in a huge way. "We feel this industry has so many great stories to tell and it is integral we present them in a way that reaches as many new people as possible, while also engaging the current trots fans like never before." Meanwhile, Trots Media today also revealed Larni Salathiel would host a new digital show focused on all aspects of ownership in the trots, OTM TV (Own the Moment TV). "Standardbreds are just the most beautiful breed. I've been around them all my life and so I'm really excited to be promoting the Own the Moment message," Salathiel said. OTM TV will air across Trots Media digital channels with episodes to be promoted monthly. Read online here.  Larni Salathiel OTM TV here.  Cody Winnell [Harness Racing Victoria]

Harness Racing Victoria encourages Gordon Rothacker Medal nominations from Country Clubs, Kindred Bodies, Industry Participants and/or Individuals. The criteria for the Gordon Rothacker Medal is as follows: Contribution to harness racing in Victoria (past and present) Length of industry involvement Held (voluntary or paid) key positions within the industry Demonstrated excellence within a chosen field Significant personal achievement Service as a role model/mentor Integrity If you wish to nominate someone for consideration for the 2017 Gordon Rothacker Medal, please email the name of the nominee and a brief summary of supportive information (achievements, positions held in the industry, length of service etc) to Angela McCallum (AMcCallum@hrv.org.au) by close of business on Friday September 22. Click here to view more info on the Gordon Rothacker Medal Cody Winnell HRV Communications/Media Manager

Humbletonian 2017 at Maryborough yesterday saw 10 horses register their first ever racetrack win and $63,000 paid out in Vicbred First Win bonuses from Harness Racing Victoria. Additionally Harness Breeders Victoria paid out $2500 in breeder bonuses across yesterday’s 10-race card, the Victorian Square Trotters Association offered $250 bonuses for trot race winning owners who were on-course and the Maryborough Harness Racing Club offered $250 breeder bonuses for pacing breeders that attended. The important ongoing role played by breeders in the trots was on display at Maryborough with three winning horses yesterday owned and trained by the person who bred them – Mascott (Race 1) for Jayne Davies, Crazy Ideas (Race 3) for Kari Males and Tobi John (Race 4) for Darren Cole. A further three horses were bred, owned and trained by family members – Seattle Grace (Race 7) for Brad and David Barnes, No Republic (Race 9) for Virginia, Julija and Emmett Brosnan, and Live On Broadway (Race 10) for Christian McLean and Shannon McLean. For Jayne Davies, the debut win of Mascott was extra special. Davies purchased Mascott’s mother, Maidstone Miss, from New Zealand in 2011 and debuted her on Australian Soil in the Group 1 Redwood Classic at Maryborough. She won, and now, six years later, Maidstone Miss’s first progeny to hit the racetrack has won on debut at the same venue. “It’s really nice to have him follow in his mother’s footsteps by winning at Maryborough first-up,” Davies said. “I’ve sold the mare to Pat Driscoll (Yabby Dam Racing). I took an embryo from Maidstone Miss actually, and he (Mascott) is the result.” Davies only qualified Mascott – by Majestic Son – last Saturday from the mobile. “He probably wasn’t quite ready and still has a couple of problems, but he trotted OK yesterday. He’s a nice little horse and he’s got a lot of improvement in him as a three-year-old,” Davies said. Being the overseer of a racehorse’s transition from foal to racetrack and first win is a special experience, says Davies. “It is a bit special,” she said. “And days like yesterday where the maiden horses are given that opportunity to pick up nice bonus prizemoney are really important for the industry.” Find out more about the Victorian breeding industry  Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

Grand Circuit pacing harness racing superstar Hectorjayjay is likely to be ruled out of the Allied Express Victoria Cup and Perth Inter Dominion after a lesion was discovered. Part-owner Mick Harvey said the syndicate was shattered their David Aiken-trained superstar would likely be sidelined for an extended period, having suffered what they believed was a small tear in his front off-side leg. "Everyone involved with the horse is devastated," Mr Harvey said. "I am also sad for the public, because in my eyes he is the most exciting pacer in Australia and had it all in front of him. "This hurts big time, but we just hope the further scans come up pretty good early next week and he comes through." Winner of July's $200,540 2017 Ubet Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship, the son of Dream Away, Hectorjayjay has amassed more than $1.1 million in stakes and owners hoped the six-year-old would go one better in December's Inter Dominion, having placed second last year. "He's never looked better or been better and was working toward the Victoria Cup," Mr Harvey said. "But in the third phase of his trackwork he didn't pull up well and scans revealed a lesion." Yesterday's grim discovery will be verified with further scans likely to take place early next week. "He will have a more detailed scan when the swelling goes down. The early prognosis is he will be out for six to 12 months. It's one of those things that takes time for it to rehab." Harness Racing Victoria

The Board, Staff and Members of Yarra Valley Harness Racing were saddened to hear of the passing of Club stalwart, Colin Williamson, early on Monday morning. Colin’s contribution to Harness Racing in the Yarra Valley over a long period of time saw him recognised with Life Membership of the Yarra Glen Trotting Club and subsequently, Yarra Valley Racing. The Williamson family name has been an integral part of the Club going back to when harness racing commenced at Healesville back in 1947 and were front and centre when the Club relocated to Yarra Glen in 1972. Over the years, Colin, held a number of roles at the Club including roles on the Committee and the Committee of Management for the Reserve.  However, it was as a Track Curator where his passion for the Industry shone through.  In a time prior to having a lot of the modern track preparation implements, Colin’s ability to match skill and common sense saw Yarra Glen gain a strong reputation for a track that was always presented well and that raced fairly. It is an interesting fact that Colin’s wife Cheryl’s dad trained the first winner of a race conducted at the Yarra Glen track.  No doubt the track was prepared to Industry standards and no favours were provided to keep in sweet with the father in law. Colin’s experience was also called on heavily when the Club undertook a successful major track reconstruction back in 2004. Colin had a major influence in the development of the iconic Melbourne Cup Day race meeting and was a key organiser of the equally iconic post-Melbourne Cup Day “fishing” trip to Mallacoota.  A trip that was taken religiously by key local harness enthusiasts annually on the Tuesday after Melbourne Cup Day.   The fishermen were like excited kids at Christmas waiting to head off and no doubt there would many tales to be told about their adventures. Colin bravely battled health issues for the past fourteen years.  His determination and fight was admired by all who knew him.  He will be sadly missed by all at Yarra Valley Racing and the local community in general.  Our condolences to Cheryl and family. Fittingly, a ceremony to celebrate the life of Colin Williamson will be conducted at the Yarra Valley Racing centre on Tuesday 29 August at 1:00pm. Thanks Colin. Harness Racing Victoria

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today considered charges issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) 190(1) and 190B(1) against licensed trainer-driver David Drury.  ARHR 190(1) reads as follows:  A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances.  The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Drury related to a post-race urine sample taken from the horse ‘Hes Just Fine’ after it won Race 3, the ‘Tabcorp Park Melton Choice Hotels Pace’, at Horsham on 21 April 2017. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that analysis of the urine sample revealed it to contain the prohibited substance caffeine along with its associated metabolites. The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) in NSW confirmed these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant urine sample. Mr Drury was also charged with a breach of AHRR 190B(1) being that he failed to properly keep and maintain a log book in accordance with this rule.  Mr Drury pleaded guilty to both charges before submissions on penalty were heard from HRV Stewards and Mr Drury.  In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered Mr Drury’s guilty plea and cooperation throughout the investigation; Mr Drury’s clear record in regard to prohibited substance matters over a long involvement in the industry; both general and specific deterrence; consistency of penalty and other similar matters. Mr Drury was subsequently fined $6000, of which $1000 was suspended for a period of 12 months. In relation to the log book charge, Mr Drury was fined the sum of $250. The HRV RAD Board also ordered that, under ARHR 195, ‘Hes Just Fine’ be disqualified from Race 3 at Horsham on 21 April 2017 and that the placings be amended accordingly. Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

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