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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) was saddened to learn overnight of the passiong of Kevin 'Boofa' Innes. Last year HRV's Harness Racer scribe, Lucy McCormick, filed this story on 'Boofa's life in the trots. HRV extends its condolences to Kevin's family and friends. Kevin's funeral will be held 23rd of August at St Mary's Inglewood from 11am.  KEVIN ‘BOOFA’ INNES A FAIR DINKUM TROTS CHARACTER By Lucy McCormick Experience is something special; something to be valued.  Kevin ‘Boofa’ (a nickname given to the rough and ready Kevin after a particularly enthusiastic school yard brawl) Innes has it in spades.  A rare person combines that experience and knowledge with a keen interest in changing trends and attitudes.  Kevin Innes manages that as well – easily.  He misses nothing, forgets little, and applies a thoughtful and analytical mind to the world around him.  That’s not lip service being paid by a lazy journalist to a man with eight decades on the planet to his credit – it’s an observation of a keen mind that a person of any age would be proud to possess. Kevin is a member of the celebrated Innes clan from Inglewood, in Central Victoria. “I think the first Innes’ came to Inglewood in 1851. My daughter used to say she can’t marry anyone from Inglewood, because she’s related to them all,” says Kevin. ‘Boofa’ is enjoying some well-earned relaxation on the couch after breaking a kneecap six or seven months ago in a track work incident.  Not that it seems to be bothering him too much; he’s got plenty of time to keep up with the trots on television. “I do follow them,” Kevin says. “I don’t miss many, and I do have a bet.  I like to sit in the chair and drive a race as much as anyone.” With an illustrious career both as a trainer and in the sulky, it’s a safe bet that Kevin Innes is a more than handy ‘grandstand driver’.  His name is associated as a trainer/driver with many handy horses, including Lea Sands, Imatoff and Stormy Morn to name a few. Kevin is typically circumspect about his bigger triumphs, however that doesn’t seem to be what interests him the most.  “I’ll tell you something,” he declares, doing just that, “I like winning with the horses that were no good. Some people never get a good horse. Imagine that. Luck is a very, very important thing.  You have to have luck to buy a good horse at the sales, to get it going, keep it sound, find a race for it, find and owner and get a draw. And they still make a liar of you.” Funny, interesting or quirky stories seem to be of greater interest to Kevin, such as the time he had a strong chance in a standing start race – the favourite in the race being his only worry.  “I told the owner it only had a 20-metre handicap – I couldn’t beat it off that,” he remembers. “So I was leading, waiting for the favourite to run past me. Toward the finish, I heard it coming, and it ran straight past all right – minus the driver.  He’d fallen out of the cart and I won the race. Just lucky.” The Innes family have always been heavily involved in one sporting pursuit or another – Kevin himself being a champion bike rider of his time.  “My Uncle Roy was a good bike rider, so he dared me to have a go.  It turned out I was quite good at it as well.”  So good, in fact that for many years Kevin was able to make a living from bike riding, riding the ‘board track’ for many years.  “We trained hard.  Bike riding was very big back then, we’d train and ride three or four times a week.” Kevin’s riding career spanned four Herald Sun Tours, a Warrnambool to Melbourne and a Sydney to Melbourne race, to name a few.  “It definitely gets you in – it was long hours,” he muses.  “But like anything, horse racing included, you only get back what you put in. We trained hard. I never drank, and I still don’t.  I’ve seen that many athletes, great ones too, brought down by alcohol.” Lucky with injury too, Kevin can only remember a sore ankle – as well as the requisite scrapes and abrasions from tumbles on the wooden boards of the velodromes. He still enjoys watching all the big bike races when he can.  “You can watch them race all over the world – France, Sweden, Germany.  “To be honest I sit up and watch them with my son and we get just as much of a kick looking at the countryside than anything else.  It’s so different to when I was racing.” Betting on the bike racing was big in Kevin’s day as well, and some of the bookies Kevin saw betting on the bike racing, he saw at the Showgrounds betting on the trots on a Friday or Saturday night.  “Racing was different back then.  There would be twelve thousand people at the showgrounds – they don’t have to come anymore, it’s just as easy to watch it on the TV.”  Kevin remembers in those days that drivers had to ‘weigh in’ as well – everyone who drove needed to weigh ten stone (just under 65 kilograms).  It’s something he remembers fondly.  “I know not everyone will.”  Kevin won’t be drawn on the subject of favourite drivers, either.  “Look.  Driving is different now.  No disrespect to current drivers, but you had to think a lot more on a three furlong track than they do now on the bigger tracks.  You had to drive with brains.  And I really believe that good horses make good drivers.  The horses are very good these days.  Today’s drivers – your Gavin Langs, Chris Alfords – they’re thinkers, and brains will beat brawn every time.  The girls are just as good now too.  You only have to look at Kerryn Manning.” A garrulous and popular character, Kevin has trained horses for the likes of legendary Richmond player Jack Dyer, and also spent his fair share of time hosting sportsman’s nights, holding his own with the likes of Ron Barassi.  On one such night, they had flown in a light aircraft to their destination.  During their show, Kevin noticed their pilot, sitting in the front row, laughing appreciatively.  There was one problem.  He had a beer in his hand, and was consuming it with some enthusiasm.  As the night wore on, the pilot became more and more inebriated, and Kevin became more and more disturbed, knowing that this was the same pilot who was to fly them home when they finished.  Unbeknownst to Kevin, however, the flight had been cancelled and the pilot hadn’t told anyone, instead deciding to take full advantage of his client’s hospitality. For now, Kevin is happy living in Inglewood with partner Barbara.  Son Grant and daughter Carla aren’t far away (both work at the Bendigo Harness track, and Carla has held both a trainer and driver’s licence).  His granddaughter, Barclay Sands, was born on the same day of the demise of their star performer, Lea Sands, and may give the biggest hint yet just how important the world of harness racing is to Kevin ‘Boofa’ Innes. Trots Media

MANALAPAN, NJ -- August 12, 2017 -- Barbara A. Crawford, 85, a resident Beech St. in Bennington, VT died peacefully Thursday August 10, 2017 at the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington following a brief illness. She was born in Bennington, VT March 23, 1932. She was the daughter of the late Wallace and Effie (Cross) Mattison. Barbara received her education in Bennington and was a graduate of Bennington High School class of 1951. She married John A. Crawford on September 15, 1951 at the First United Methodist Church in Bennington. For 39 years Barbara was employed in the cafeterias of the Beech St. School, the Mount Anthony Middle School and the Mount Anthony Union High School retiring in 2000. Barbara was inducted into the Middle School Hall of Fame in 2006. Barbara enjoyed horse racing and was an incredible cook. Survivors include her husband John A. Crawford of Bennington, a son Kim Crawford (Judy) of Stillwater, New York, a daughter Debbie Crawford (Tim) of Saratoga, New York; five grandchildren, Aaron, Josh, Brett, Cole and Rachel and two great grandchildren, Noah and Linnea. Three brothers, Wallace, Erwin and Clyde Mattison and a sister Suzanne Saunders. She was pre-deceased by a son John "Jack" Crawford, and three brothers, William, Howard and Lawrence Mattison. SERVICES: A memorial service will be held at the Mahar and Son Funeral Home on Monday August 14, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. The burial will follow in the family lot in Park Lawn Cemetery. Friends may call at the Mahar and Son Funeral Home on Monday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service. If friends desire contributions in memory of Barbara A. Crawford may be made to the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center through the office of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home 628 Main St. Bennington, VT 05201. Guest book condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net  

The harness racing fraternity lost one of its true icons on Monday with the passing of Ron Hoy, aged 96. Ron passed away peacefully in Peak Hill surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by sons Lindsay, Lester and Garth and daughter Janine. Ron started his career in harness racing back in the mid 1950's at Peak Hill before eventually moving to Dubbo where he became a leading trainer for a number of years back in the 70's and 80's before handing over the reins to his sons. Ron won more than six trainers' premierships at Dubbo. Best known as the trainer of 1980 Inter Dominion finalist Lone Boy, Ron also enjoyed a lot of success with his first pacer Rule Silver while other horses of note trained by Ron included Rodney Robert, Lucky Magic, Twin Bay and Bossys Henry. Flying Peko was a topliner which he shared in the ownership with son Lester. Lone Boy won multiple feature races at Harold Park including the Australasian Three and Four-Year-Old Championship and the Viscount Grand Prix. Arrangements for Ron's funeral are not yet finalised. Harness Racing NSW extends its deepest sympathies to Ron's family and many friends. AMANDA RANDO

Washington, PA – Sherie L. Hankins, 62, of Canonsburg (PA), passed away on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, following a long illness.   She is survived by her husband Kim Hankins, Executive Director of the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association. Sherie Hankins is also survived by her son, Staff Sergeant Joshua (Melonie) Hankins and daughter Neva Hankins.  She was the grandmother of Jackson Hankins and Rebekah Murray; sister of Michael (Eva) Cotton.  Sherie was a member of the Christian Harness Horseman’s Association.  Arrangements were made by Beinhauer Family Funeral Homes, 724-941-3211, however, there will be no visitation.  A Memorial Service will be held on Monday (July 31) at the Track Chapel at the Meadows at 1 pm.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Christian Harness Horseman’s Association, 157 North Main St., Salem, NH 03079, or www.chha.net. Please add or view tributes at www.beinhauer.com   by Chris Tully on behalf of the Hankins family

Harness Racing Victoria was saddened to learn of the passing of William “Bill” Davin, an owner, trainer and driver from Ascot Vale. Mr Davin’s son, Robert, said his father mainly raced at Ascot Vale and Moonee Valley but was more widely known for providing accommodation to interstate horses including Our Sir Vancelot, Westburn Grant, Robin Dundee, Minuteman, Halwes and Gundary Flyer. At his property he stabled at least six Hunter Cup winners in a row at his property in the 1960s. A funeral service will be held in his honour in the Joseph Allison Chapel, 941 Mt Alexander Rd, Essendon, on Monday, July 31, from 10am. At its conclusion the cortege will proceed to Fawkner Cemetery for a burial at noon.  

The harness racing industry was shocked by the sudden and unexpected passing of legendary trainer-driver Kevin Newman on Tuesday night. Harness Racing New South Wales Chief Executive John Dumesny expressed the harness racing fraternity's shock at the sudden passing. "Kevin at 83 was well and had just finalised the sale of his Penrith home and was looking forward to moving on to the central Coast with his wife Beryl," Dumesny said. "He was an icon, a legend of trotting, a one in a life time horseman. "It was an honour to known and be in the presence of KB Newman. "His wit had no peer and his recall of the halcyon days of trotting never diminished." Born in Western Australia, Kevin arrived in Sydney in 1951, two years after night trotting was introduced at Harold Park, as a 16-year-old. From here Kevin became a dominate force during what is known as the golden era of harness racing in the 1960s and 70s, particularly at Harold Park. He won an unequalled 10 Harold Park trainers' premierships and eight drivers' premierships. Kevin was the first driver to win two Miracle Miles - Halwes 1968 and Friendly Footman 1981. He steered home 533 winners at Harold Park and all up about 1400 in his entire career. Retiring from the driving ranks in 1986, Newman can claim victories in almost every major race at Harold Park. For his services to harness racing, Kevin was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 1991, was named a Living Legend by HRNSW in 2000 and was also one of seven Living Legends of Harold Park. He was also inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions at the State's Sports Centre at Homebush in 2001. Kevin represented Australia twice in the World Driving Championships in the United States and Canada - finishing fourth behind Herve Filion in 1970, and sixth behind the New Zealander Kevin Holmes in 1978. Top performers Newman was associated with in feature race wins at Harold Park during his long and distinguished career include Koala Frost, Tongue Twister, Adios Victor, Mitchell Victory, Apollo Eleven and Markovina. To Kevin's wife Beryl, daughters Julie and Debbie and their families as well as Kevin's many friends, Harness Racing NSW extends its deepest condolences. Funeral details to be announced. AMANDA RANDO

MANALAPAN, NJ -- July 25, 2017 -- Vincent Fusco Sr of Freehold Township, NJ passed away Monday, July 24th with his beloved family at his side. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Grace, his children Rita (Dale), Carmine (Christie), Antonia, Vincent Jr. (Michelle), Bridget (Bob), Andriana, Joseph (Dana), Paul (Robyn), Peter, Maria (Michael), Elizabeth (Jason), 26 grandchildren and his angel great grandson Noah. Visitation will be held Wednesday, July 26th and Thursday, July 27th at Clayton Funeral Home in Freehold, NJ from 5 - 9 pm. There will also be a mass on Friday, July 27th at St. Roberts of Bellarmine Church in Freehold at 10 am. The family is requesting in lieu of flowers please make any donations to St Judes Children's Hospital. Courtney Stafford PR Consultant SBOANJ 64 Business Route 33 Manalapan, NJ 07726

The community of Parkes recently lost one of its true gems when highly regarded Parkes Harness Racing Club Life Member Wal Norman passed away after a short illness at Parkes District Hospital surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, June 20. Wal, aged 90, would not be a name the wider Harness Racing community would readily remember but through his contribution to the sport, many participants have benefitted. Wal joined the then Parkes Trotting Club in 1970 and over a period of 45 years, season in and season out, he would be a regular at the many working bees held to prepare for race meetings or to contribute to the many track, ground and building redevelopments that were undertaken at the Parkes Showground Paceway. On race day Wal could be found in the Judges' Tower, assisting with both the judging and timekeeping, positions he held right up to his late 80's when he decided it was time to retire and take things a little easier. Many thought Wal would be keen to take a "redundancy" with the introduction of the more modern finish links and timing mechanisms but no, Wal was a man who rarely let things get the better of him and he embraced the changes and operated the remote controlled semaphore board better than most. Wal, along with his family members raced a few pacers over the years. Like the Trotting Club, the Parkes Golf Club recognised Wal's wonderful efforts by honouring him with a Life Membership and in 2014, as part of the Australia Day Awards, Wally received a Long Service and Dedication Award for his contribution to sport in Parkes for which he was justifiably proud. Harness Racing New South Wales, on behalf of all participants in the industry, sends its deepest sympathy to Wal's widow Joyce and all her family on the passing of a great man. Our sport has been enriched by the contribution of volunteers like Wally Norman. AMANDA RANDO

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

Chris Brewer-Lehman, 81 of Wilkes-Barre, PA, formerly of South Fallsburg, NY and Boca Raton, FL, passed away peacefully on June 14, 2017.   She was preceded in death by her husband of 19 years, Max A. Brewer and survived by her loving husband and partner of 35 years, Charles D. Lehman.   Chris is also survived by her three children: David M. Brewer of Westminster CA, Carole Brewer Macedonio and her companion, Lee Marrero of Kiamesha Lake, NY and John A. Brewer of Key West FL; her two grandchildren, Ryan Macedonio of Middletown, NY and Angela Macedonio of Highland, NY; her sister, Dorothy Z. Nowak of Huntington Beach CA.   Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1936 and raised in Flourtown, PA, Chris attended Springfield High School, Erdenheim, PA and Philadelphia Museum School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. While raising her family in the South Fallsburg, NY area, she owned The Brewer Standardbred Agency as an equine genealogist for standardbred racehorses and employed many in the area.   She was owner of many racehorses and Sire Stakes winners throughout the years.   She was President of the United States Harness Writers Assn Monticello/Goshen Chapter.   She was the Cub Scout/Boy Scout and Brownie/Girl Scout Leader for the Fallsburg area in the 60s and 70s and loved by all the friends of her children.   Chris will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.   Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.   (Reprinted from the Times-Herald Record) Submitted by Monticello-Goshen USHWA    

Ray Sweetman, an outstanding horseman and the man who educated Australia’s first 1:55 pacer and leading sire Classic Garry, died last week and a private funeral was held on Thursday. Owen Raymond (Ray) Sweetman was born in 1927 and in 1942 his father Charlie leased a 2yo called Dallingwood but the gelding had a bad habit of kicking. Teenager Ray Sweetman spent countless hours with Dallingwood before he managed to settle the gelding to the point where he could commence racing as a 5yo. Dallingwood won six races in Perth between August 1945 and June 1946 with Ron Porter at the reins while Ray Sweetman went through the process of obtaining his licence to drive in races. On Easter Saturday, 5th April 1947 Ray Sweetman drove Dallingwood to victory at Gloucester Park in a heat of the Easter Handicap. It was his first winner and came at his fifth race drive. The win saw Dallingwood re-handicapped from 48 yards to 60 yards for the £2000 Easter Handicap Final on April 7th. In what was to become the norm for Ray Sweetman, he showed his initiative in dashing the 8/1 chance Dallingwood around the field to hit the front with a lap to travel before holding on to win the final by three yards. Over the next five years, Dallingwood won a further 12 races in Perth with Ray Sweetman at the reins and developed into one of the State’s best fast-class horses. He qualified for four WA Pacing Cup finals and finished third to Dark David and Johnnie Robert in the 1947 Cup and fourth behind Bintravis, Admiral Spear and Happy Man in 1949. Dallingwood also won the 1951 Winter Cup and finished third to Sea Born and Tony Derby in the 1948 Fremantle Cup and third to Happy Man and Brown Sheik in the 1949 Fremantle Cup. In a career spanning some 36 years, before a disagreement with the WA Trotting Association’s stewards saw him hand in his licence, Ray Sweetman drove 491 winners with 283 of them in the city. Those 491 winners came per medium of 94 different horses and his average of five wins per winning horse has been approached by very few drivers across more than 100 years of trotting in Perth. His best season as a driver was in 1976/77 when he finished second to Fred Kersley on the Perth Drivers Premiership with 24 winners. In 1977/78 he drove 32 winners in Perth to finish third in the premiership race. This was an era when Ray competed against reinsmen of the calibre of Fred Kersley, Jim Schrader, Lyle Lindau, Phil Coulson, Trevor Warwick, Les Poyser, Bob Pollock and Kevin Batt. Ray Sweetman took out a trainers licence in 1947 and the first of his 417 wins as a trainer came at Gloucester Park with Straight Dalla on 1st November 1947. In the 1977/78 season Ray Sweetman (34 winners) finished second to Fred Kersley (36 winners) in the Perth Trainers Premiership. Sweetman had just seven horses in work at any one time that season compared to Kersley’s stable which had more than 20 in work. That was Sweetman’s best season as a trainer although he also finished second in the 1976/77 season with 23 winners and was in the top five on the premiership on a further four occasions. The list of the best horses trained by Ray Sweetman is extensive and includes the likes of Bronze Whaler which won 21 races for Sweetman. While he was Sweetman’s most prolific winner he also ranks as unlucky in that in four successive starts as a 3yo he finished second to Mount Eden. Sweetman’s other top liners include Binshaw (three wins including the 1970 Easter Cup), Henry Butler (20 wins), Dale Cliffe (19 wins including the 1971 Harvey Cup), Special Garry 15 wins including the 1979 WA Derby), Wayamba (16 wins including the 1976 Bunbury Cup), Vermillion (14 wins), Lou Travis (13 wins), Ardcliffe (13 wins including the 1969 Christmas Gift), Tiara Court (13 wins including the 1965 Churchill Memorial Cup, 1965 Queens Birthday Cup, 1969 Lord Mayor’s Cup and six Free-For-Alls), Prince Fandango (12 wins), Thor Rise (11 wins including the 1978 Easter Cup) and Regal Morris (6 wins including the 1981 Bunbury Cup). Sweetman rarely drove horses that he didn’t train but he did drive the Reason Why gelding Rickey Reason to a remarkable 16 wins for trainer Gordon Couper in a period of nine months between April and December 1971. Ray Sweetman rightly developed a reputation as a fearless front-running driver – a record that he was to attribute to the stewards. “After I got suspended a couple of times for pushing out I decided that the best way to stay out of trouble was to lead and I spent countless hours educating my horses to begin quickly from the standing start,” he said some years later. “After fast-work earlier in the week I knew exactly what my horses were capable of running on the Friday night and I drove then to run that time”. Ray Sweetman had an arrangement with Kevin Newbound from Forest Lodge Stud in Victoria for first option to purchase the progeny of Newbound’s star broodmare Gay Acres. Not long after winning the 1979 WA Derby with Special Garry, Sweetman inspected a seven month old weanling full-brother to his Derby winner and didn’t hesitate in pulling out his cheque book. The athletic colt was nurtured and educated by Ray and after he was named Classic Garry he was to become an icon of harness racing in Australia. Ray trained and drove Classic Garry as a 2yo and 3yo winning 11 races including the Group Two Champagne Stakes as a 2yo and the New Year Handicap and a heat of the WA Derby as a 3yo before finishing a luckless second to Smooth Dave in the 1982 Derby final. Ray Sweetman had become disillusioned with the WATA Stewards shortly after the WA Derby in 1982 and when Classic Garry resumed racing in Perth as a 4yo he was trained by Sweetman’s daughter Lyn Bauskis. After his run-in with the stewards Ray Sweetman switched to training thoroughbreds with a good degree of success. Alan Parker

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

Former Gloucester Park Vice-President and leading harness racing owner and breeder Roy Annear died last Friday after a long illness. Annear, aged 74, was also a leading Australian Rules administrator and after a period as President of the South Fremantle Football Club and later President of the West Australian Football League. He played a leading role in the entry of the West Coast Eagles into the Australian Football League by managing to convince the WAFL Presidents that a national competition was the only way forward for Australian Rules in WA. Roy and his wife Diane were bitten by the trotting bug in the late seventies and their first winner was Honest Talk at Bunbury on 27th March 1978 and the husband and wife combination won more nearly 700 races in Western Australia including 100 in the 1979/80 season alone. In 1978 Roy Annear established Summerfields Stud in Baldivis and had the Australian breeding industry agog when he imported leading USA stallions Romeo Hanover and Adios Vic to Western Australia. At the time both stallions were in the top echelon of the USTA Sires lists and Annear also bought a number of mares from the best New Zealand families at the time including Countess Belmer (dam of NSW Derby winner Belmers Image) and Golden Guest. He also purchased a number of well-bred fillies from New Zealand which he raced before retiring them to stud including the likes of Big Bucks (NSW Oaks winner), All Arranged, Countess Gina (WA Oaks), Fantasy Lass, Krina Bella, Miss Bo Scott, Rose Of Dundee, Roydon Wren, Tiger Maid and Nevele Score. He also imported numbers of other racing stock including Speedy Cheval (Fremantle Cup), Lumber Leon (Golden Slipper Stakes), Nautilus (August Cup) and Timely Score (Winter Cup). Timely Score later stood at Summerfields Stud. In 1980 Roy Annear was elected to the committee of the WA Trotting Association and was instrumental in the Pacing In The Eighties conference which set out a strategic direction for trotting in this State. He served as the Association’s Vice President from 1982 until 1984 when he resigned to concentrate on his business interests. The Association extends its deepest condolences to his widow Diane and children Danielle and Grant. by Alan Parker

The South Island harness racing community is in mourning after the death of popular Canterbury trainer Mike Austin. Austin, who was based at West Melton, had held a trainer's licence since 1978. His last last runner to the races was Idle Moose, who ran third at Addington on Friday night. He died on Saturday, surrounded by his family, after a long brave battle with illness. The last of Austin's 271 training wins came with Idle Monkey at the Cheviot meeting on March 5. Austin, best known for his ability with trotters, enjoyed great success over the years with horses like Ado's Invasion, Ranger Globe, Idle Rules, Toomuch To Do and free-legged pacer Nutwood. Several drivers at Sunday's Rangiora meeting wore black armbands as a mark of respect to Austin. A large turnout from the racing community is expected to farewell Austin at his funeral service at Westpark Chapel on Thursday. ASSP

What was once one of Marburg's brightest harness racing flames has been extinguished. Trevor Perrin succumbed to the combined effect of a number of ailments including heart disease at the Nowlanville care facility last Monday afternoon. Trevor was only in his mid sixties but had battled illness and failing sight for over two decades. Along with wife Anne, the "big fella'' had been an active and successful harness trainer from the late 70's at Ipswich. In the period covered by computer records (1982/83 to 2000/01), he had presented 949 starters, which provided 54 winners, 58 seconds and 71 thirds, banking a total of $99,654. His best season was 1985/86 with 17 wins, 10 seconds and seven thirds for earnings of $21,555. The stable's top performer at this time was Super Rooster, a multiple winner, which retired with earnings of $48,000. With failing health and job requirements limiting his outdoor activities, Trevor turned his full attention to raising sponsorship funds for the Marburg Pacing Association, while working as advertising manager for National Trotguide and Harness Racing Weekly. His gift of persuasive argument combined with bulldog tenacity saw him achieve great results in both positions. While he was a successful hobby trainer, few people realised that he had been a top athlete in his youth. He played rugby league for Booval Swifts, Norths Devils in Brisbane and had a brief stint in the southern big time with Manly Warringah in Sydney. However, Trevor missed Rosewood too much and returned home where he played some cricket and won a state championship, sprinting on the grass at Lang Park. Trevor Perrin, a deserving Life Member of the MPA, is gone. I doubt we shall see his like again. He had special qualities, which not everybody possesses. Like the man who could sell ice to Eskimos, TP could sell the harness dream to anyone who would stand still long enough. He will be sorely missed. Trevor's funeral is at 10.30am on Tuesday at the Uniting Church, Rosewood. Vital issues TWO interesting issues affecting the harness code at present were anointed by the process of appearing in last Sunday's Courier Mail. Firstly, Peter Cameron's column Traps, quoted a senior Racing Queensland official as saying that harness racing was a "poor cousin'' of the other codes, "which keeps shooting itself in the foot"! It was further said that harness turnover "was barely 10% of the tri-code total". These comments were not well received at the top end of the harness participant tree. But, in the real world, if the same people who took umbrage at these aspersions are the same people who are equally upset at RQ's plan to cease racing at Albion Park (second issue) and develop a residential and commercial complex on the resulting vacant site, it is time that those people commenced to "think outside the square". There are very well founded and historically proven arguments for the retention of Albion Park based on the geographical inability of Globe Derby, Melton and Menangle to draw viable crowds. One would think that the policy put forward by a handful of influential people in the year 2000, and I quote from a well attended industry meeting held at Albion Park, "We must create an elite industry, by creating conditions where we can have elite trainers, elite drivers, and horses which can be promoted as superstars. We must attract wealthy owners", might have been a "goer". At the time, there were considerably more trainers, drivers and horses, but no trainers here were winning in excess of a million dollars for their owners year and year out. However, there were a reasonable number of trainers and drivers earning a good living. It would be fair to say, that after a 17 year trial, the "elitist" policy has failed to deliver. If we abandon that policy tomorrow, and re-introduce a simple racing format that the average recreational punter can understand and use with satisfaction and pleasure, it will be a long road back. If we don't abandon it, there will be no road back. Next week, some frightening figures. Handy tips SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight. R1: Quinella 1-4: Simply Gorgeous (M. Neilson) and ChattanoogaChooChoo (A. Sanderson). R2: E/w 3: Diesel Shannon (L. Weidemann). R3: E/w 1: Countdown (N. Dawson). R4: Box trifecta 1-5-8: The Space Invader (N. McMullen)-Pub Blitz (M. Elkins)-Lancelot Bromac. R5: Box trifecta 5-8-10: Fire One (G. Dixon)-Fire An Ice-The Charging Moa (S. Graham). R6: box trifecta 2-4-8: Major Kiwi (B. Graham)- Rubys Bad Boy (N. McMullen)- Flaming Hero (N. Dawson). R7: Quinella 3-5: Only The Brave and Im The Smoocha (G. Dixon). R8: Box trifecta 1-2-8: Constantly Sideways (D. McMullen)-Lenny The Legend (N. Dawson)-Shakas Magic (S. Graham). R9: Box trifecta 2-4-8: Avonnova (S. Graham)-Ideal Scott (A. Sanderson)- Destreos (K. Dawson). R10: Quinella 3-10: Wishitwasheaven (S.Graham) and Remember Ruby (G. Dixon). Honour board The training section of the leader board featured a triple dead heat between Greg Elkins, Chantal Turpin and Ron Sallis with two winners apiece. Adam Sanderson took charge of the driving division with five wins. Nathan Dawson and Lachie Manzelmann were not far away on three each. The most pleasing effort has to be Justin Elkins with a double at Albion Park last Tuesday. Albion Park, May 12: Three Of The Best (Adam Sander- son for Shannon Price); Exceptional Mach (Pete McMullen for Chantal Turpin); Alta Surreal (Narissa McMullen for Steve Cini); Kash (Pete McMullen for Mick Butler); Nolonga Your Choice (Anthony Gorman for Rachel Scott); Our Leonardo (Kelli Dawson for Ray Law). Albion Park, May 13: Phantom Rockstar (Gary Whitaker for Kevin Joiner); Bettor Promise (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price); Statement Please (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price). Albion Park, May 14: Queens Accent (Justin Elkins for Greg Elkins); Out Of Art (Justin Elkins for Kenny Rattray); Black Belt (Lachie Manzelmann for Ron Sallis). Albion Park, May 16: Statement Please (Adam Sanderson for Shannon Price). Redcliffe, May 17: Long Road To Fame (Adam Sanderson); Comigal (Lachie Manzelmann for Brett Cargill); Tarin Kowt (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Official Reign (Lachie Manzelmann for Chantal Turpin); Sammari (Nathan Dawson for Kylie Rasmussen). Redcliffe, May 18: Inciter (Matt Elkins for Greg Elkins); Lucky Lefty (Narissa McMullen for Christina Monte); Heavens Hint (Nathan Dawson for Stewie Dickson); Hot Rod Heaven (Dan Russell for Tayla Gillespie); Rockstar Rikki (Nathan Dawson for Aileen Smith); Call Me Yours (Steven Doherty for Tess Neaves). TROT TACTICS with Denis Smith Reprinted with permission of The Queensland Times

Live harness racing on PEI is getting busier now as we move closer to the summer months. Charlottetown has already added its Thursday night racing to the weekly schedule and the Summerside Raceway opens for the 2017 season on Monday afternoon with its annual Victoria Day program. At Charlottetown, the top class for pacers has belonged to Adkins Hanover the past two Saturdays. On the May 6 card, the 8-year-old son of Western Ideal destroyed the field with a 13 length romp in 1:56.2 over an off track. This past Saturday was a much closer contest, but Adkins Hanover and driver Corey MacPherson prevailed once again with a three quarter length victory in 1:55.3 over top contender Mr. Irresistable. Trevor Hicken trains Adkins Hanover for owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile, Quebec. Marc Campbell had a driving triple on Saturday and continues to pad his lead in the dash wins for drivers category. He appears to be headed for another title at the Driving Park. Campbell is rolling along with a near .500 driving percentage also. The driving averages are comparable to a baseball player’s batting average, so imagine a .500 hitter in this instance. Two of Campbell’s three winners on Saturday are 3-year-old pacers he trains as well. Veteran trainer/driver Earl Smith had a pair of wins with his own trainees as well, Oceanview Beemer and Elm Grove Kaboom. The Trot Handicap on Saturday night went to Holy Molie Maggie and driver Gary Chappell. Trevor MacDonald of Vernon Bridge and Jeff Holmes of Orwell are the owners, Holmes does the training. The Thursday night card was highlighted by driving doubles for three drivers, Kenny Murphy, Gary Chappell and Marc Campbell. Trainer Earl Watts had a pair of winners as well. The Big Bite won the featured pace for trainer Thane Arsenault and driver Kenny Arsenault. Two huge losses occurred in the Island harness racing community during the past two weeks with the deaths of George ‘Butch’ Ward and Shelley Gass. Ward was the longtime paddock judge at the Charlottetown Driving Park who continued in that role into his late 70s, until his health would no longer allow him to do it. I think it’s safe to say the Driving Park never had anyone do a better job than Butch Ward at keeping things running smoothly in the paddock, and he was a friend to all involved. To Gussie and Tim, and brothers Mike and Paul, my deepest condolences. I’ll miss the chats with Butch. Shelley Gass was without a doubt the most dedicated and most friendly ambassador Island harness racing has ever had. She was a fixture to harness racing on the east coast of Canada throughout her life. Her disability never slowed her down one bit and her heart and toughness was that of a champion race horse. This one hurts for many on PEI and no more so than the crew at the Dusty Lane Farms operation in Cornwall. To Ronnie, Dianne, Stephen and Alexis, I’m so sorry for this tremendous loss. By Shane Bernard Reprinted with permission of the peicanada.com site  

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