A horse trainer has told how he was at a harness-racing meeting on Friday night when his mother was fatally struck by a hit-run driver only a short distance away. Earlier, Betty McArthur, 84, had watched her son Mick Darling’s horses in two races on the program at Phoenix Park in Port Pirie. She was walking back to her car parked in its usual spot outside a friend’s house, in Grey Terrace, when she was hit by the vehicle about 9.30pm. This is only about 100 metres from the entrance to the trotting park – and Mr Darling was still at the track when he got the news that someone had been hit. “It was straight after race five,” a shocked Mr Darling told The Recorder Editor Greg Mayfield on Saturday afternoon at his home at Bungama on the outskirts of Port Pirie. He spoke just after police released the news that a suspected offender was being interviewed over the hit-run. Mr Darling said he had ”mind-boggling” support from the community after the tragedy. “You don’t know how many friends you have got,” he said. He said it would be difficult on Christmas Day with an empty seat being there for Mrs McArthur. “All Christmases are special,” he said. Mrs McArthur is a former president with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary and used to make dinners for drivers and trainers at the trotting track until a few years ago. She was a regular supplier of delicious nut rolls to a local delicatessen. Mr Darling agreed his mother was proud of him and always watched his horses go round the track. “I drove one horse in one race and another driver drove one of my other horses in the other race. They were the fourth and sixth races on the program and she watched them both,” he said. Mr Darling is president of the Port Pirie Harness Racing Club and president of the South Australian Country Harness Racing Clubs. “Mum and Dad had horses when we were kids. I originally raced her horses,” he said. “We went to school at Snowtown and Lochiel and shifted to Port Pirie for the last year of high school. “Mum didn’t work – looking after six kids was a big enough job.” It is not the first time that tragedy has truck the family. Mr Darling’s brother Robin died 17 years ago from an asthma attack. Later, Mr Darling’s mother remarried and became Mrs McArthur. “When she remarried there were 13 of us,” he said. “It was a big Christmas and a big day at tea-time. “Everyone knows her. She worked so hard for the trotting club. “She had been president of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital auxiliary for eight or nine years. “She was inspired to do this by her two disabled grandchildren. One of them can’t speak, but recently had a long “conversation” on the phone with Mum’ and was laughing and smiling. “Because my wife and I are shifting to Moonta, Christmas celebrations were going to be at Moonta. “I asked my mother when she wanted to be picked up to travel to Moonta and she said she was going to drive down - at the age of 84 - but we would have driven her anyway.” He said his mother always attended the trotting meetings. “She was actually a life member of the harness racing club,” he said. “I suppose that indicates how much work she did for the club. “She always made nut roll for the delicatessen – one of her loves was cooking. “She was proud of all of us.” A 40-year-old Port Pirie man was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and render assistance at a collision, and leaving the scene of a collision. He will be granted bail to appear in court at a later date. by Greg Mayfield Reprinted with permission of the http://www.busseltonmail.com.au/ Major Crash investigators continue to examine the circumstances surrounding the collision, and ask anyone that may have seen a dark-coloured Ford station wagon in the area to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or online at https://sa.crimestoppers.com.au
The former chairman of Harness Racing New Zealand and members of a prominent horse racing family, Patrick O’Brien, along with his son, Michael, Nelson’s Paul Max and a former gaming inspector who could not be named, have all been issues summons on charges of fraud in one of the country’s largest gambling sector investigations. Called “Operation Chestnut ” the investigation was started back in June of 2012 according to the Serious Fraud Office, Department of Affairs and the police. The investigation alleges that more than $30 million in gaming grants were made by the New Zealand Community Trust, Infinity and Bluegrass Trusts, dating all the way back to 2006. Scheduled to appear in court in February, the four men could face at least 20 charges of obtaining by deception, which could carry up to seven years in jail. "If you don't think you've done anything wrong, it's a bloody shock to get a summons, said Patrick O’Brien. “I'll be defending the charges." Paul Max also said he would defend the charges against him. "It's before the courts so on that basis it's completely inappropriate for me to make any comment." Michael O'Brien said he had been instructed not to comment by his lawyers, but said the charges would be "vigorously defended". The trusts had its gaming license taken away earlier this year after the Gambling Commission found that it provided false and misleading information to Internal Affairs. Harnesslink media
The Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) today launched an anonymous 0800 number for the racing industry to report integrity concerns. Based on the NZ Police Crimestoppers 0800 number, the 0800 RIU 123 Integrity line will gather information volunteered anonymously from industry participants, employees, punters and anyone with an interest in racing a proactive way to pass on information with guaranteed anonymity. The service will be run through the Crimestoppers operation. All calls are received by trained call takers. They record the information offered and the intelligence provided is then forwarded on to the RIU for investigation. As a new service based on anonymity the integrity line will add to the Racing Integrity Unit’s intelligence gathering. “The guarantee of absolute anonymity provides a way for people to feel safe about passing on what they know, so we are likely to receive information we haven’t had before and from people who in other circumstances would not normally come forward” says Neil Grimstone, Manager of Integrity Assurance for the Racing Integrity Unit. “There is no visibility or record of the phone number the call is being made from, so it cannot be traced back, however the caller is given the opportunity to leave contact details if they wish to be contacted further about the concerns they raise.” For any further information regarding the implementation of the 0800 RIU 123 Integrity line please email email@example.com or call Neil Grimstone on 021 272 6009
THE Queensland Racing Disciplinary Board has quashed a five-year disqualification for a harness racing trainer who admitted backing his own horses to lose. Justin Abbott pleaded guilty to three charges of laying his horses on Betfair in races at Redcliffe and Albion Park in February and March this year. For each charge, Racing Queensland Stewards Kwan Wolsey and Paul Zimmermann disqualified Abbott for 12 months, to be served cumulatively. Stewards also handed out a two-year disqualification, to be served concurrently, for behaviour prejudicial to the industry and another two-year cumulative stretch for intimidating stewards. Abbott pleaded not guilty to those charges in the initial inquiry and the RDB found in his favour at appeal and quashed both convictions and penalties. “There is nothing to support the contention that the trainer has behaved in a way which was prejudicial or indeed detrimental to the industry,” RDB Chairman Brock Miller wrote in his judgment. In respect to the penalties for laying his own horses, the RDB knocked the penalty down to time already served, dating back to March, when Abbott was stood down by stewards, effectively making it a nine-month penalty. “There are circumstances where one can envisage significant long term disqualifications being imposed. However, those circumstances would demand that there be unmistakably serious contraventions involving significantly large amounts of money that had been wagered and won,” Miller deemed. “That is not the situation in the matters that are currently under review by this board. The three amounts of money that had been wagered and won are all below $1000.” The three lay bets admitted to by Abbott were to win amounts of $235, $97.55 and $811. Evidence was also tendered at the stewards’ inquiry whereby two associates of Abbott’s also layed the horse Foldem at Albion Park on March 10. In that race, Foldem took a sit three back on the marker pegs after starting from barrier one. A week later, Foldem was driven forward to lead from barrier six. Abbott backed the horse to win $810 in this race. Stewards submitted there was an “irresistible inference from these facts that Mr Abbott deliberately caused the horse to race inconsistently”. The RDB did not accept this submission, finding “there is no evidence that there was any such conduct on the part of the trainer or the driver”. The RDB said stewards should have charged Abbott under a merits or reasonable measures rule if the charge of prejudicial behaviour was to stand. By Nathan Exelby Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail
Integrity will be at a premium for the annual Garrards 2YO Trialling Sale to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Menangle this Sunday. HRNSW will take a select number of samples in consultation with the Sales organisers including the fastest horse of the morning. In addition to this any buyer will be able to have their purchase tested for Steroids by notifying the HRNSW representative at the sale and paying the appropriate fee. This is the first sale in which buyers have had this opportunity. The 51-head catalogue has brought together two-year-old colts, geldings and fillies from every Australian eastern Mainland State as well as New Zealand. Included in the draft are sons and daughters of such notable sires as Beautide's sire, Bettors Delight, Courage Under Fire, Mach Three, Rocknroll Hanover and Rock N Roll Heaven. HRNSW CEO John Dumesny said the controlling body want to make it clear that all prospective owners, stakeholders, participants and supporters that they can have faith in harness racing in NSW. "As has been acknowledged nationally HRNSW has the strongest approach of any jurisdiction to integrity processes." "The HRNSW commitment covers every aspect and it is with the support of the Ready To Race Sale organisers that swabs will be taken, tested and if required stored for future analysis." Only graduates are eligible to nominate for the associated Group Three feature, the C.J. Garrard Classic, to be held at Tabcorp Park, Menangle, next August. NSW Breeders Challenge Owners Bonus certificates can be used as legal tender at the sale. By Dale Walker
Everybody involved in harness racing in New Zealand knows that there are major challenges facing the industry. Whatever branch of the industry you look at has issues that are threatening the very existence of the sport we love. From the decline in the number of mares being sent to stud to the difficulty in retaining owners in the game through to a management structure that is more attuned to the 19th century than the 21st century we live in and you have an industry in real difficulty. The two major clubs in New Zealand are the Auckland Trotting Club based at Alexandra Park and the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club based at Addington Raceway and both deserve credit in the last few years for lifting stake levels and increasing returns to stake holders. Both have achieved this by developing large income streams outside of harness racing and have used those funds to help lift stake levels. The Auckland Trotting Club have now released visionary development plans that if implemented in full will see a huge lift in stakes at Alexandra Park and will definitely give the whole harness racing industry in New Zealand a huge boost when it needs it most. The proposals are for the establishment of a village type concept at the eastern end of Alexandra Park which has an estimated cost of development of $205,400,000. It will involve a nine story apartment complex of 231 apartments with 8 of these being luxury penthouse units and a major retail complex underneath the apartments. It is envisaged that the construction phase will last for 20 months and the Auckland club already has agreements with their neighbours regarding the development. The CEO Dominique Dowding has driven this project and is due a lot of the credit for the progress made to date. Just yesterday the club received consent for the project from the Auckland City Council. Last night the Auckland president Kerry Hoggard outlined the proposal to over 120 members. The Auckland Trotting Club board this year includes such well respected industry participants as Barry Purdon, John Green, Derek Balle, Bruce Cater and Ross Johnson and they were very supportive of the plan as were the vast majority of the members. If completed to budget, the project will leave the club with $30,000,000 in cash and new assets with a capital value of $27,000,000 On top of that the Club will have a new income stream from the rental of the retail outlets which is projected to bring in $1,670,000 per annum. The last big hurdle for the project is keeping within the budget set for the construction phase and the Club reserves the right to stop the project if costs blow out in the tender for the construction of the village.. If it all goes to plan, the Auckland Trotting Club could eventually expect to be racing for a minimum stake of $20,000 which is a 66% increase on the present minimum. Not only that but it will secure the future of harness racing in the North Island and give the whole industry in New Zealand a real lift. The Auckland club should be congatulated for being so proactive in securing the future of harness racing in the North Island with such an innovative project. Harnesslink Media
The New Zealand Racing Board has today announced a Net Profit increase of $137.0 million for the financial year ending 31 July 2014. NZRB Chief Executive Officer (Acting) Stewart McRobie says it has been a mixed year for the NZ Racing Board, but the core business is strong, underpinned by solid year on year growth. "The NZ Racing Board achieved record breaking turnover results surpassing the $2 billion mark for the first time in the organisation's history. This was on the back of a highly successful Football World Cup tournament that was the TAB's biggest ever betting event with turnover of $32.3m. "Year on year we achieved growth in Betting and Gaming turnover of 6.8% and 6.5% respectively. Turnover growth from domestic customers is running over three times higher than the compound average of the last four years - a long term negative trend that is beginning to reverse," says Mr McRobie. Mr McRobie says rising Operating Expenses and other factors have meant that while Net Profit was marginally above the prior year result, and a record, it did not meet budget. "Some very positive improvements have been offset by the significant appreciation of the New Zealand dollar against the Australian dollar. Our key initiative projects - broadcasting and the mobile app have also cost more and taken longer to execute, but we expect to see benefits from these projects come through in future results," says Mr McRobie. The three Racing Codes – New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing New Zealand and Greyhound Racing New Zealand – and the racing industry, received $137.4 million from NZRB’s operations, while $5.0 million was paid or provided for distribution to National Sporting Organisations, and a record $2.3 million to other sporting bodies from gaming activities. 2013/14 2012/131 % change Turnover $2.088b $1.957b +6.7% Net profit $137.0m $136.7m +0.2% Total Group distribution made from current year profit $137.4m $134.9m +1.8% Note: All figures comprise TAB betting and Class 4 gaming The audited financial statements have been completed. The 2013/14 results exclude the gain realised from the sale of the NZ Racing Board Head Office in Petone, as this transaction was completed early in the 2014/15 financial year. The NZ Racing Board's Statement of Intent is available on the NZ Racing Board website. The annual report, including the financial statements, will be available at the Annual General Meeting on November 24, 2014. Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board
From today Kiwi racing punters will be able to bet into Hong Kong's multimillion dollar pools following an agreement between the TAB and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. New Zealand Racing Board Wagering Consultant Martin Saunders says the TAB has joined a select group of international agencies approved to commingle into Hong Kong pools. "Our intention has always been to give our customers in New Zealand the opportunity to bet into 'native', or home field, pools and this allows us to do that. "We'll be commingling into win, place and quinella pools initially, then into other pools including trifecta from next year and, in time, the huge dividend-bearing Triple Trio," says Mr Saunders. TAB customers will reap the rewards of the deal, says Saunders. "Most importantly, it will reduce the volatility that can occur in smaller pools, skewing win and place dividends." The arrangement with Hong Kong follows a taxation law change by the region's Legislative Council allowing commingling with overseas operators. "Longer term, the goal is to have Hong Kong customers betting into New Zealand, which will be a real boost to liquidity of our domestic pools," says Saunders. The TAB will be commingling directly into Hong Kong via a hub arrangement with international partner Tabcorp. In addition, the TAB will commingle First4 and Quaddie pools on Hong Kong racing directly with Tabcorp. Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board
In a massive victory for the industry, the Supreme Court has dismissed the long-running action against Harness Racing New South Wales. Earlier today Justice Adamson handed down her decision relating to the case instigated by horsemen Neil Day and Dean McDowell opposing the governing body. (Court's decision here) While the situation has been viewed mainly as a cobalt issue, the broader ramifications could have disastrous for the industry had Day and McDowell been triumphant. In fact, success would have forced the sport to shut down according to HRNSW Manager of Integrity, Reid Sanders. As part of their argument against their bans in relation to presenting horses with levels of cobalt above the accepted threshold, Day and McDowell challenged several rules. The rules included HRNSW’s right to issue – or cancel – licences and enforce drug related regulations. Basically, a loss by HRNSW would have meant participants had no boundaries in relation to drugs or tactics…a literal free-for-all! “This is a big win for the industry in relation to regulation and control,” Sanders said. “It was a very broad attack on several rules and our right to enforce them. “If they were successful, harness racing may have ceased to exist as we would be unable to enforce any rules. “The case wasn’t just about cobalt, it was about drug rules as a whole and Harness Racing New South Wales’ right to licence people, which makes for no regulation at all.” Although the industry has been vindicated, the financial cost is still a burden the governing body will have to bare. “It has been a costly hearing as we put together a very strong legal team,” Sanders declared. “Although we have been awarded costs, you never get it all back, only a percentage.” Day and McDowell were initially stood down by HRNSW last April after representatives from their stables returned tests above the cobalt threshold. Day’s Benzi Marsh was swabbed after its success in the Final Goulburn Soldiers Club Goulburn Championship at Goulburn on February 24, 2014. McDowell’s pair Chevals Charlie and Twilight Dancer were tested following victories at Bankstown on February 28, 2014. HRNSW will now continue with its inquiries into the matters involving Day and McDowell. In an unrelated matter, Harness Racing Australia has issued a statement relating to a national level for cobalt. At yesterday’s Annual General Meeting, members unanimously adopted the threshold for “cobalt at a concentration at or below 200 micrograms per litre of in urine.” “Matters of integrity are of paramount importance for public confidence in our industry,” HRA chairman Geoff Want declared. “While it may only be a small number of people who try to cheat the system and participate in fraudulent practices, we will continue to do all we can to ensure the integrity system works and the playing field is level.” Industry rules relating to race day testing are dealt with in AHRR 188A(1) which sets out prohibited substances, while 188A(2) sets out exceptions to sub-rule 1. The cobalt threshold is now defined as follows: 188A(2)(k) Cobalt at a concentration at or below 200 micrograms per litre of in urine. PAUL COURTS
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is uniformly recognized as the premier criminal detection and enforcement agency in the United States. Whether exclusively, or as part of a team or task force, the FBI is involved in investigating and/or uncovering virtually all major crimes in this country. The DEA, ATF, IRS, SEC, USPS and scores of other federal agencies constantly utilize the FBI’s matchless investigatory expertise. Moreover, given the expansive interpretation by the judiciary of what constitutes interstate commerce, as well as the congressional promulgation of statutes like the Federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the FBI is regularly drawn into seemingly neighborhood-based events, the investigation of which would otherwise be limited to state authorities. For example, though the recent incident in Ferguson, Missouri involved a local police shooting, and the 2011 Amish “beard-cutting” affair was restricted to rural Ohio, the FBI was nonetheless there to do their job at each venue. How does the FBI maintain its superlative level of effectiveness? One of the Bureau’s important, though less heralded functions, involves the collection, compilation and categorization of crime data from hundreds of sources throughout the country through the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). For decades, the Bureau’s Uniform Crime Report Program has been a tremendous resource for sociologists, profilers, investigators and government agencies. One of program’s annual publications, “Crime in the United States” is a virtual almanac of statistical information regarding the most serious offenses perpetrated, including murder, rape, robbery and arson. The numerous tables and graphs break down the offenses by such things as geographic region and demographics as to the perpetrators. The Uniform Crime Reports are essential in assisting agencies nationwide to properly allocate resources in order to maximize the prevention and enforcement of offenses. It is for this reason that a recent decision by the Bureau is so important to our industry. In September, the FBI officially announced that, for the first time, it will report animal cruelty crimes as a separate offense under the agency’s Uniform Crime Report Program. Starting in 2015, hundreds of law enforcement agencies throughout the country will report incidents of animal cruelty in a specific category, rather than as miscellaneous crimes, through the (NIBRS). The Bureau has established four distinct types of animal abuse that it will statistically track: a) simple or gross neglect, such as failing to properly care for a sick animal; b) intentional abuse and torture; c) organized abuse, such as participation in dog fighting rings, and; d) animal sexual abuse (bestiality, etc.), It stands to reason that animal cruelty is a dreadfully underreported crime. Like infants, dogs, cats and horses lack the ability to contact the authorities when they are the victim of abuse. It is only through the observation of caring humans that the abuse is brought to the forefront. With the advent of separate reporting by unique categories, the severity of these criminal acts will be exhibited in an enhanced way. This enhancement is critically important when the victim is a horse. In states like New York, horses are considered to be livestock. While abusing a companion animal like a dog or cat is a felony punishable by years in state prison, abusing a horse is a mere misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in jail. Moreover, horse abuse rarely results in a sentence of jail time. The highlighted recording of acts of abuse against animals will hopefully serve as a springboard in state legislatures for the passing of stricter penalties for criminal acts against all animals, including horses. As the numbers and types of abuse begin to roll in to the FBI, subsequent Uniform Crime Report Program publications will highlight animal cruelty and its severity throughout the country. It is anticipated that the long term result of this tracking will be the creation of, and increased public funding for, specialized law enforcement units charged with combating abuse to animals, as well as more private funding for organizations such as the ASPCA. Animal abuse is especially important to law enforcement because it is generally recognized as a precursor to human abuse. Sadistic serial killers almost always start with the torture of animals. As a child, the notorious Jeffrey Dahmer was fascinated with dissection of dogs and cats so he could see and feel their organs. As he grew older, the fascination became a compulsion, and humans became the target of his depravity. Social scientists have written extensively about the link. For example, the abuse of animals is part of the “Mcdonald Triad.” Named in the 1960s for the psychiatrist that developed the theory, childhood animal cruelty and arson are considered markers for homicidal and predatory behavior in later life. Frustration and anger at repeated instances of humiliation are vented via setting fires and torturing small living creatures. The sociopathic behavior carries into adulthood, with the manifestations taking on literally larger risks and consequences. Clearly, early identification of an adolescent horse abuser could have incalculable, far reaching benefits for society. If just one instance of horse abuse can be prevented, or one budding serial killer can be identified and properly treated, the FBI’s decision should be considered a huge success. Chris E. Wittstruck Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network.
Tucson, AZ — The University of Arizona today announced the panel lineup for the 2014 Global Symposium on Racing & Gaming, to be heldDecember 8-11, in Tucson, Arizona. The five topic areas of interest being focused on – from both the North American and international perspective – during this year’s event are: field size, selling the racing product, racing’s place in the digital world, global wagering and regulation. Panel sessions and events include: Declining Field Size: A Global Issue The panelists will provide a comprehensive look at the issues and metrics associated with the field size, where it is growing, where it’s declining and the effect on the bottom line using studies that were done on the global marketplace. Closer to home, a racing executive and a professional horseplayer will give their take on how this issue has affected their businesses. Breaking With Tradition: Economic Model According to The Jockey Club statistics, the average Thoroughbred race horse made 6.3 starts in 2013 and costs from $25,000-$50,000 per year to keep in training. Panelists will look at new ideas and methods of distributing the revenues of racing that will shake up the systems currently in use. Maybe it’s time to change tradition. What would be the effect of changing the traditional purse distribution to one that would allow more horses to “earn their keep”? Encouraging starts per stall? Purses being connected to the field size? The business pros and cons will be discussed as well as any issues that could potentially affect equine safety and welfare. Breaking With Tradition: Supply Model Although the number of races run in the U.S. has steadily declined, the foal crop and starts per horse have declined at a greater rate leaving five and six horse fields the norm in many areas. The current business model of tracks running 4-5 days a week, nine races per day is unsustainable. This session puts the traditional model of creating and presenting the racing card under the microscope. What would the effect be of changing the traditional race day of 8-10 races to 6 races? Creating a more streamlined menu of conditions for races? Changing the statistics for trainers to an ROI of training days rather than just publishing the win percentage that encourages them to start horses only in the “perfect spot”? The business pros and cons will be discussed as well as any issues that could potentially affect equine safety and welfare. Creating a Positive Racino Environment – Making Racing an Integral Part of the Experience The growth of racinos has changed the organization’s marketing direction and rewards programs gearing both towards casino players. The horseplayer often gets few amenities and either a substandard reward or no consideration at all, but does it have to be that way? Get an insider’s look at Hoosier Park’s high energy staff and the innovative approaches they take to marketing racing. See how they position horses and drivers as “sports stars” and create as much excitement at the races as you find in the casino. Capitalizing on Digital Marketing How have organizations reinvented their marketing departments and what new technologies are there to assist the online marketer? Your organization is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. While you know how many followers you have, do you know if you are reaching the right audience and creating new fans? Do you know what is said about your brand in the social media? Panelists will discuss how to engage influencers, maximize and measure the results of your social media efforts. Using Technology to Improve the Wagering Experience In the U.S., approximately 85% of the wagering on a live card comes from a location other than the racetrack. While broadcast upgrades can be costly, there is digital technology you can afford to improve the customer experience both on and off track and set your presentation apart from the competition. Making Everything Mobile Technology can be a blessing and a curse, but no one can dispute the power of the hand held device. It affects every aspect of our daily life. Panelists will discuss the “how to” of making everything mobile – from your message to your product and service delivery – and give practical advice on why, what and “how” to make sure you are maximizing mobile to deliver content and provide exceptional service to your customers. ADW Issues – Funding and Fraud While wagering on pari-mutuel racing was carved out of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, one of the consequences of the law has been a high number of rejections by credit card companies on gambling funding transactions. As more wagering dollars are moved through ADWs and other digital means, the challenges to both the consumer and operator have changed. What are people doing to fund accounts and avoid fraud? This is a challenge for any “digital cash” operator. Global Simulcast Marketplace The marketplace is a unique event that brings buyers and sellers of global racing content together to meet and work through opportunities to expand their simulcast distribution. Open to all conference attendees. Updates from the Global Wagering Markets Representatives from some of the largest importers and exporters of international simulcast signals discuss the latest changes and trends and share progress reports; included is an update on the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s simulcast expansion. The Control Room: Monitoring the Heartbeat of the Gambling Day at the Races A look at Racing Victoria’s (Australia) control room, will illustrate how cutting-edge technology creates a level playing field for tracks of all sizes around the country in both the areas of wagering and officiating. All aspects of the day are carefully scrutinized including wagering world-wide, expected performance issues, and expanding the knowledge base to assist stewards in decision making and enforcement of the rules. Behind Closed Doors – What Really Happens in the Steward’s Stand During a Day of Racing? To complement the presentation by Racing Victoria, the Racing Officials Accreditation program (ROAP) will create a true-to-life steward’s stand on the conference stage showing the processes used and issues dealt with on a daily basis by the stewards. The scenarios will show how decisions are made, rules are enforced and stewards deal with the unexpected. A mock race day steward’s stand shows it is not always smooth sailing. Crisis Management in Racing: How Social Media Has Changed the Game Mark Kaufman Workshop presented by the Turf Publicists of America (TPA). International Tote Protocol Meeting Hosted by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau (TRPB). Accredited racing officials may also earn continuing education credit by attending the regulatory-based sessions. Full details on earning this credit are available by contacting the Racing Officials Accreditation Program. Updated speaker lists and registration information is available on the event website www.ua-rtip.org/symposium Conference news on twitter: #azsym14 ABOUT THE RACE TRACK INDUSTRY PROGRAM: The University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program offers both a Bachelors and Master’s degree program with an emphasis on the pari-mutuel racing industry. CONTACT: Doug Reed, 520 621-5660 or firstname.lastname@example.org Betty Prewitt Administrative Assistant UA Race Track Industry Program (520) 621-5660 email@example.com
An 80 year old Masterton man who "bets to keep his brain active" has scored big, taking home more than $110,000 on a $5 bet. The punter chose an eight leg Multi, correctly picking the winners of eight races at the Christchurch Greyhounds last night. He collected $111,565 at odds of 22,113 to 1. "I'm in the industry, I race a few dogs and I've been betting since the legal age," says the man who does not want to be identified. "I pick my own bets and study the form to keep me sharp." The punter says he won $11,000 ten years ago, but this is his first big win. He recently came out of hospital and says he's going to spend some of the cash buying his kids a nice Christmas present. How he did it: $5 Multi on 8 legs at Christchurch greyhounds, Thursday 4th September R2 Sozin's Comet $2.60 R4 Spud Gun $3 R5 Adroit $12 R6 Laredo $5 R8 Little Regus $3.50 R9 Dream Collector $1.40 R10 Cawbourne Queen $3 R11 Fast Archer $3 RETURN = $110,565 Odds of 22,113 to 1 Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board
Glasser and Yarock may sound like a law firm but both are enthusiastic amateur drivers and each won a division in the C.K.G. Billings Series at Yonkers Raceway on Thursday night, August 8. Glasser won the first $12,000 split with Celebrity Stimulus in 2:04 while Yarock copped the second $12,000 trot with Mr. Invincible in a time of 2:04.4. Both trot were non-wagering affairs. In the first heat David "the Litigator" Glasser started from the pylon position and stayed along the poles throughout the mile. After trotting along I third position while there were multiple moves toward the front end Glasser stayed put and when the field headed for home he used the passing lane to rally Celebrity Stimulus to a one length victory over Tony "the Capo" Verruso and Sam's Honeybee. The pace-setter in that contest, Get Packin, with Bob "the Headhunter" Hechkoff aboard, finished third. The winner, a 4-year-old son of Cantab Hall-Slow Dance Hanover is owned by Joel Golub and Stuart Oppenheimer. Glasser, a president of a litigator support company, was always involved with the Standardbred sport. When he was a youngster his parents, Arthur and Evelyn, were enthralled in harness racing and not only owned many horses but they purchased a training farm in Orange County (NY) and raced much of their stock in the Metropolitan New York area and at Monticello Raceway. Young David also became enthralled with racing and earned a driver's license while a college student. He had driven some winners (21) in the 1980's but there was a hiatus to his driving beginning in 1993 and it was restarted until 2011 when he joined various local amateur driving clubs. But even then he only drove a few races a season and it wasn't until this year that he again visited the winners circle. Although he won a race at Yonkers Raceway earlier this year as a member of NAADA this was his first Billings victory and third in 14 seasonal starts. Yarock, on the other hand, marked his 7th seasonal victory and 50th of his career with his triumph behind Mr. invincible. In that contest Yarock, an account manager by profession, went down the road after taking command on the first turn and he never relinquished the lead although his trotter was headed momentarily in the lane but surged back to score a neck victory over Rodeo Red and driver "Smokin' Joe" Faraldo. Peter "Sycamore Ventures" Gerry took home the show dough with Keystone Sadie. Mr invincible is an 8-year-old gelding by Angus Hall from Ms Vic and owned by Yarock. Both Billings winner are trained by Jimmy Doherty, Jr. John Manzi
Montreal, August 7 2014 – Yesterday, the Minister of Agriculture, Pierre Paradis, announced his intention to put forward a bill that would redefine animals in the Civil Code of Quebec and grant them the status of sentient beings. In order to proceed with this reform, Mr. Paradis reached an agreement with the Minister of Justice, Stéphanie Vallée. Mr. Paradis’ announcement comes in response to the Animals are not things manifesto, which was launched on January 22nd and has been signed by over 46 000 people. The manifesto, which is supported by theMontreal SPCA, calls for a reconsideration of the legal status of animals in the Civil Code of Quebec. Currently, our Civil Code considers animals to be moveable property, indistinguishable from a toaster or a chair. Under civil law, the act of hurting or abusing an animal is therefore tantamount to the destruction of property. The SPCA applauds Minister Paradis’ willingness to reform the legal status of animals. “Given the importance and complexity of this issue, as well as the fact that over 46 000 Quebec citizens have expressed their concern about it, it is crucial that public consultations take place before moving forward with a bill” said Me Sophie Gaillard, Lawyer and Campaigns Manager for the Montreal SPCA Animal Advocacy Department. “We feel that this is an opportunity to effect real change for animals in this province and for Quebec to become a leader in animal welfare instead of lagging behind.” Anita Kapuscinska, Media Relations Coordinator, Montreal SPCA, 514-226-3932, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fredericton NB– Horse Racing New Brunswick announced today that it has launched a lawsuit against the Province of New Brunswick for breach of contract. Horse Racing NB Inc. was created in 2009 under the direction of The Provincial Government and industry stakeholders. In order to incorporate HRNB into the gaming strategy of NB, a contract was formed in partnership with the province to allocate 150 video lottery terminals from the 2000 put in play by NB Lotteries and Gaming. The 150 VLTS were designed to be placed at the existing racetracks in New Brunswick. HRNB, working through Atlantic Lotto, renovated Winners Lounge in Fredericton and placed 25 VLTs in that facility. “The major hurdle in deploying the balance of the allotment of VLT’s was infrastructure”, said Dr. Mitchell Downey, President of Horse Racing New Brunswick, “but we were determined to make it work.” In 2010, the incoming government of David Alward was engaged to look at options for a racino facility at Exhibition Park in Saint John. HRNB was told to "find a partner". In 2012 that partner was found in the Woodstock First Nations Economic Development Corporation. In September of 2012, HRNB and WFNEDC entered into a memorandum of understanding that would see the construction of a state of the art gaming facility in Saint John and revitalize the harness racing industry. The very next day industry stakeholders were told that NB Gaming and the Province of NB would not recognize the MOU that HRNB had entered into, and further, had cancelled the contract, henceforth denying HRNB access to its allotment of VLTs. “In short” says Dr. Downey, “they breached a contract because they did not like the partner HRNB had found.” Brian Murphy, attorney for HRNB says “this is a clear case of breach of contract. The Province will defend on the basis of policy, yet it broke the terms of the agreement they drafted, they broke their word.” Dr. Mitchell Downey President Horse Racing New Brunswick
Cheating on your spouse is not very nice; and is still a crime in many places. While prosecutions for Adultery are admittedly rare, the Scarlet Letter crime is still on the books. In fact, at last count it's a criminal offense in 21 states. While liberalized divorce laws in all 50 states have eliminated the need to plead and prove civil grounds for divorce, such as Adultery, some spouses try to encourage prosecution of their wayward betrothed to extract an advantage with issues such as child custody and visitation. Public Intoxication is also a criminal offense in several states, and, unlike adultery, arrests and prosecutions occur with regularity. A related crime, Public Lewdness, occurs when too much beer leads to the need to relieve oneself in an open place. How prevalent are the types of activities described above? You don’t need to have a degree in the social sciences to conclude that everybody has, and everybody will, do regrettable things during their lifetimes. While not everyone sleeps around or drinks to excess in public, there are those who have shoplifted a candy bar; made graffiti; sold a bootleg recording; hosted a poker game; walked across railroad tracks when the gates were down; passed a joint to a friend (constitutes a drug sale); cheated on their taxes and committed hundreds of other criminal offenses. Imagine someone being permanently banned from participating in pari-mutuel harness racing because his spouse caught him carousing around her back, or because he screamed obscenities in a park at midnight in an inebriated state. Not nice; and possibly criminal activity… but do these actions truly speak to the appropriateness of participation in our industry? Moreover, if the activity occurred away from a racetrack, what possible business would a racetrack management, much less a racing commission, have in using it to judge the character and fitness of an individual who always acts as a professional while in the paddock? Finally, all other things considered, would the penalty of perpetual banishment truly fit the crimes referenced? The stakeholders in our industry have varied opinions when it comes to horse slaughter. Irrespective of my opinion or that of anyone else, the present legal status of horse slaughter in this country is what it is; like it or not. Against this backdrop, consider the lawsuit presently pending in a Federal District Court in Ohio entitled, Mumaw v. Ohio State Racing Commission. The plaintiffs are longstanding owners and trainers of Thoroughbreds at Thistledown Racetrack. They contend that in 2012 they retired one of their horses by giving it to a woman seeking a riding horse for her children. The plaintiffs did not transfer the Jockey Club registration papers, explaining that they didn’t want the horse to end up racing ever again. They allege that it wasn’t until 2013 that the Jockey Club permitted a “Sold as Retired from Racing” designation on registration papers. Thus, they remained the paper owners of the horse. Shortly thereafter, plaintiffs were contacted by somebody they describe as an animal rights’ advocate who indicated that the horse was purchased at a livestock auction house known as a conduit for horses destined for slaughter. It is alleged that this individual demanded money in exchange for her silence. Plaintiffs state that they balked at what they describe as blackmail, and the advocate then contacted both the stewards and track management. Purportedly based upon a racetrack boarding agreement provision prohibiting any horse from being transported from the track for the purpose of slaughter or to an auction house who sells horses for slaughter, the stewards and racetrack management permanently banned plaintiffs and their horses from participation in racing at the track. The question as to whether plaintiffs received a full, fair, constitutional hearing before the stewards is an open question in the litigation; as is the question of whether plaintiffs knew or should have known that the horse was going to a slaughter auction. The answers to these questions and many others are dependent upon what the court ultimately elicits as the true facts in the case. There are, however, questions that can be addressed without the need for much fact finding. The truth is that there is no jurisdiction, including Ohio, which makes it a crime to either buy or sell a horse for the purpose of eventual slaughter. In other words, while some may think selling a horse in a grade sale is horribly wrong, nobody has made it criminal. Yes, slaughter is illegal in certain states, but selling a horse with even nefarious intent doesn’t constitute slaughter. Moreover, not every horse at a grade sale necessarily goes to slaughter. In Ohio, some are purchased by Old Order Amish community members for transport or farm work. In fact, it appears from the complaint in the matter that the horse in question was actually purchased by a horse rescuer and never sent to slaughter. Plaintiffs deny that they transported a horse from the track for the purpose of slaughter. Even if they were found to have done so, what was violated was a track rule embodied in a stall application, not a state statute or regulation. While Thistledown management might be allowed to exclude plaintiffs’ from participation at their premises, what authority did the state’s stewards have to enforce a “house” rule? The question is important, because there are other Thoroughbred venues in Ohio where the actions of the stewards could have wide-ranging implications. What’s more, the very validly of house rules have always been a shaky issue. Decades ago, New York’s highest court voided a “policy” which was never promulgated according to state-mandated procedures that required jockeys suspended by the state during the Saratoga race meet to take their days at Saratoga. Years later, a federal judge refused to dismiss a complaint by New York jockey agents which challenged the legitimacy of a house rule limiting them from representing more than one journeyman jockey. In essence, if a house rule adversely affects a licensee, it impinges upon the vested property right granted to him or her via their state-issued occupational license. It’s for this reason that New York’s highest court also invalidated the state’s attempt to delegate licensing authority to the private, non-governmental Jockey Club. In sum, you could commit a crime and not serve a day’s suspension. You could also violate a racetrack’s house rule, not be in violation of a single law or regulation, and be banned for life not only by racetrack management, by the stewards in their official capacity as state commission agents. Don’t think slaughter is good? I don’t either, but that’s not the point. If Ohio doesn’t have a rule on the books, their officials shouldn’t be enforcing the rules of private organizations. Judges should fine and suspend the state licenses of individuals for regulatory violations, not because a private organization doesn’t like something. After all, aren’t the judges beholden to state law and regulation? When track managements persuade the judges to enforce track rules, it gives those non-governmental rules the impermissible imprimatur of the state. That’s just wrong, because while today the issue is slaughter, tomorrow it might be about free speech, driving style or perceived disloyalty. Chris E. Wittstruck is an attorney, a director of the Standardbred Owners Association of New York and a charter member of the Albany Law School Racing and Gaming Law Network. Chris E. Wittstruck Courtesy of The USTA Web Newsroon