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Stone named the promising filly Maud S after his eldest daughter, Maud Stone. Maud S made her professional debut at the Carthage Fair track in 1877. Harness racing is a different sport than horse racing. Horses trot rather than gallop and a driver rides behind in a sulky, a cart on two bicycle-like wheels. During her first race, Maud S came to a stop and tried to go through the gate to the stables. Once the driver got her back on track, she took off. Then she … showed that she was a trotter, and a rare trotter, too,” Stone recalled. “She threw up her head, got down to business and went through that back stretch like a cyclone, reaching the bunch in front, overhauling them one by one, and finishing at the wire a winner of the heat.” Maud S drew the attention of railroad tycoon William H. Vanderbilt, who offered $20,000 to buy her if she could run a mile under two minutes, 20 seconds. Stone then promised his trainer Bair $1,000 if Maud could beat 2:19. “She finished in 2:17 ¾, and the country went wild,” Stone said. “It was the fastest mile up to that time that had ever been trotted by a four-year-old.” Vanderbilt agreed to pay $20,000 plus the $1,000 to Bair. But he wanted Maud S as a road horse, and she didn’t play along. So, Vanderbilt agreed to allow Stone to manage her racing career and Bair to train her. Maud S was some horse. “Queen of the turf,” celebrated from coast to coast, she was a record-breaking trotter, the fastest in the world in the 1880s. And she was ours, trained and quartered at Chester Park, once a great racetrack on Spring Grove Avenue in what is now Spring Grove Village. That’s where she came to the attention of Capt. George N. Stone. Stone had earned his rank in the Civil War and settled in Cincinnati, where he was president of the Cincinnati Bell Telephone Co. (then called the City and Suburban Telegraph Association). But his passion was horse racing. In 1875, Stone started the Chester Park Driving Association, named for his favorite horse, Lady Chester. To show confidence in his trainer, W.W. Bair, he let him pick any horse for sale at the park to train. Bair chose an unbroken 2-year-old filly that cost $350, considered a fair price because of her lineage. The standardbred filly, born in 1874 in Woodburn Farm, Kentucky, didn’t even have a name yet, and was resistant to training. “She showed very little speed, and I was not congratulating myself at all,” Stone told The Enquirer in 1900. “She was inclined to mix gaits and rack, and would do most anything but trot.” He suggested that Bair run her through the rye growing on the edge of the track. She floundered and stumbled and fought all the way, but found her trotting gait. She got faster and faster. Over a five-year period, Maud S lowered the world trot record seven times. When the horse Jay-Eye-See bested her time at 2:10 on Aug. 1, 1884, the next day Maud S set a new record at 2:09 ¾. “It was the most graceful performance by any horse, before or since,” Stone said, “and while she made still faster time subsequently, on the same Cleveland track, it was not the graceful effort that marked her regaining her crown after Jay-Eye-See had enjoyed the title of king for exactly 24 hours.” Vanderbilt then surprised the racing world by selling Maud S to Robert Bonner for $40,000. An oft-told story, likely untrue, was that Vanderbilt was jealous that folks would say, “There goes Maud S with Vanderbilt!” rather than the other way around. In 1885, Maud S set the world record again with her fastest time of 2:08 ¾, nearly 28 mph, then retired. She died in 1900. Stone passed away in 1901 and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, a few blocks from where Chester Park once stood. The racetrack where the legendary Maud S ran was replaced by a man-made lake as Chester Park was made into an amusement park. By Jeff Suess, Cincinnati Enquirer Reprinted with permission of The Enquirer

Prompted by recent rumors concerning NZ Bloodstock's likely purchase of PGG Wrightson's harness racing auction business, and in light of our diminishing equine population (breeding down another 250 mares this year, rapidly approaching only 2,000 mares bred annually) and general lack of enticing prize money at offer, it is time for our Industry to take over ownership of its yearling and related auctions! Even in this depressed environment, yearling/weanling/broodmare Auction Sales exceed $11 million dollars annually, generating in excess of $1.1 million of gross income to PGG Wrightson. Think of how wonderful it would be if that money were made available to lift both overnight and stake purses! Why utilize an outside Auction house to do - and make money from - what we can do just as well ourselves? With a little creative use of existing facilities both Alexandra Park and Addington could hold the sales at their racetracks! Obviously, temporary stalls would need to be rented, some overheads incurred, vendor payouts and cataloging to be managed, and auctioneers to be rented for the sales - but it is hard to imagine that the financial windfall to harness racing would be far from $1 million annually! Additionally, if the sales were well handled, food and drink income for the sales days would be substantial! It would also tie in well with special race nights created to take advantage of the crowds that would already be on track for the sales! While PGG and NZ Bloodstock would have us believe that their expertise is vital, there is really very little to that bravado! The sales are self drawing, our industry can handle the operation, personnel overheads need not be high (there is certainly no need to inspect yearlings as foal numbers no longer require culling for the sales), and - while Karaka is a lovely venue - it is an unnecessary extravagance considering how nicely the $1million dollars at hand would benefit our racing product! Given Alexandra Park's bright economic future, they, alone, if necessary, could put on these sales. And combined with support from major Breeders/stud farms/consigned like Woodlands, Breckon, and Alabar, they could create an innovative new series and stakes benefiting 2 and 3 year olds! In this time of general doom and gloom in harness racing, this proactive approach would provide a breath of fresh air, utilize common sense, and give the Industry we love some forward momentum!!! Come on Alexandra Park and Addington, come on NZ Breeders, and let's MAKE this happen. Let's take our own horse by the reins! Harnesslink Media

Standardbreds are a rising star of the equestrian world. They were once mostly destined for the slaughterhouse after their time on the harness racing track, but now their potential as a show and sport horse is being realised. At this year's Horse of the Year Show in Hastings, the standardbred show ring was a popular attraction and the breed succeeded in other disciplines as well. The breed originated in the United States and got the name Standardbred because a horse had to better a standard trotting time before being allowed to enter the harness-racing stud book. Kylie Carston travelled from Christchurch for the Show with Petite Ebony - AKA Tony the Pony Carston. "She's actually a retired racehorse that was sadly going to be sent on the dog-tucker truck, so she's a rescue really," Ms Carston said. "They are anything but standard and have the best nature in the world." Zoe Cobb travelled from Cambridge with her steed O'Sheas – AKA Rusty. "I used to work with him," she said. "He raced until he was twelve-and-a-half and then he retired five years ago and became my show hack." Helping to realise the potential of the athletic breed, that is anything but standard physically, is Standardbred Rehoming New Zealand. It re-educates the horses to accept saddles and teaches them it's okay to canter. Standardbred Rehoming spokesperson Diane Wansbrough said they were often used as stock horses but "now people have wised up" to their sport-horse potential. ; Made with funding from By: Patrick O'Sullivan Video Journalist Hawke's Bay/Wairarapa, NZH Local Focus   Reprinted with permission of Hawkes Bay Today

Breedings to Donato Hanover, Art Major, Well Said, Creatine, Pet Rock, McArdle, Guccio, GooGoo GaaGaa, Triumphant Caviar, Sunshine Beach and Artspeak are among the 75+ seasons donated to New Vocations 19th Annual Stallion. Harness Racing Breedings are still being sought and can be added until the auction begins. The auction runs Tues Feb 7th through 2:00 pm Friday Feb 10th at The auction is conducted in an Open Ended format that allows for bidding slightly beyond the 2:00 p.m. deadline if less than five minutes have elapsed since the last bid on a particular breeding. Participants are asked to be considerate and not bid for mares over 20 years old, ones that have been barren two or more consecutive years, any that are due after May 15, and those that are already booked. View a list of breedings here New Vocations is the largest racehorse adoption program in North America accepting over 400 retired racehorses each year. Proceeds from this stallion auction go toward the rehabilitation, retraining, and placement of retired Standardbreds. "We would like to thank all the stallion donors for their generous support," said Executive Director Dot Morgan. "They enable us to provide rehabilitative care for these horses and equip them with crucial skills prior to placing them in qualified homes. Every horse we adopt becomes an ambassador for the breed." FMI contact or call (937) 947-4020. Dot Morgan  

An exciting new series dedicated to Standardbred Breeding is coming to Trackside next week. It has been named 'Standard Bred'. Sheldon Murtha, a member of the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association and well-known broadcaster, approached The Breeders with the idea of a TV series as a possible gap in the market, and something that could give our breeding industry a much needed push in terms of mainstream coverage. What has materialised is incredibly exciting, with two seasons of six 30 minute episodes about standardbred breeding to be produced by Sheldon this year with the first season airing on Trackside 1 October 4th (Tuesday) at 7:30pm. It will continue every Tuesday at 7:30pm thereafter. “Being on the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association they were looking to allocate some money to marketing such as websites and magazines. I stuck my oar in and said well why don’t we try and fund or make a standardbred breeding show to at least put us alongside the thoroughbreds in terms of mainstream representation.” “I bumped into Mary Anne Twentyman at the thoroughbred sales and ran it past her to gauge Trackside’s interest. What they were after being strapped for time was for somebody to come up with a concept and the money to push it through. So what started as an idea for getting Trackside to produce a show turned into let’s get Sheldon to do it!” Sheldon Murtha is no stranger to trackside and the racing public having held various broadcasting roles over the years. “The shows are being supported by the breeding industry to start with, and the show is a world first which is exciting. There’s no standardbred breeding show anywhere. It’s got plenty of legs and it can go where it likes and potentially go a long way to globalizing the sport. The breeding side of the industry has gone a long way in terms of globalizing the product in the last ten years. “Places like North America and more recently the trotting in Europe have become more intertwined with down under with the transported semen and access to their top stallions. “We have become increasingly connected so there is an aim to reflect that and put New Zealand harness racing up there as world class product that is equal to anything anywhere.” For those who have seen the thoroughbred model of Bred to Win, you can rest assured in the fact you won’t be put to sleep with boring advertorials from our major studs. “We’ve gone with an approach of making the series more of a Country Calendar style affair, to tell the human interest stories of breeders around the country who often wouldn’t get their time in the sun and allow them to tell their story. It’s a great way of capturing the enthusiasm and passion that is abundant in the breeding industry.” Doing anything mainstream requires cash in the bank, and without the support of numerous industry participants, HRNZ and the four breeders associations, none of the above would have been possible. With the show being able to be disseminated through our online channels, and also the likelihood of being picked up in Australia for their Sky Racing channels, we are immensely excited at the prospect of showcasing our product in the modern and professional sphere of television. A massive thanks must go to the following for their financial support of the series; Alabar Stud Breckon Farms Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Assn Dancingonmoonlight Farm Harness Racing New Zealand Lincoln Farms Nevele R Stud North Island Standardbred Breeders Assn Southland Standardbred Breeders Assn Stallions Australasia Woodlands Stud HRNZ News

According to HRNZ, New Zealanders are breeding better quality horses. While breeding numbers are slightly down, from around 2690 last year to 2520 this year, the breeding industry isn't in dire straits like many think. The slight decline can be attributed to a major shift from breeders to produce a higher quality product, with a significant commercial value.  With sire fees going up, many breeders are cutting back their broodmare numbers to focus on better bred mares, who have shown ability on the track. Leading sire Bettor's Delight served 289 mares this season, while Christian Cullen has dropped to just he 45 mares this season.  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ The Shane Tritton trained 2yo High Rolling will not make the Harness Jewels trip.  While stablemate Arms Of An Angel ,Kevin Pizzuto trained Heza Bromac and the Craig Demmler trained My Kiwi Mate are the only confirmed Australian invites to the Cambridge Harness Jewels. The focus has shifted to the trotting sections with HRNZ's Racing Manager Darrin Williams working on several runners and awaiting responses. The David Aiken trained 3yo trotter Princess Phoenix will not make the trip, although her stablemate Eljaykay Phoenix is still a chance of making the trip to complete against Monbet and Sunny Ruby in the 4yo Ruby.  Connections will sit down with the Aiken’s this afternoon to make a decision on their first jewels trip. Andrew Fitzgerald

An auction of more than 70 breedings is scheduled for from 8:00 am on Tuesday, January 26th through 8:00 pm on Thursday, January 28th. The process is simple and easy, and bids will also be gladly accepted by contacting SRF at 732-446-4422 during that time. Winning bidders will be required to make a 10% deposit with the balance due at live foal.   A Rocknroll Dance Allamerican Native Angus Hall Art Official Artiscape Badlands Hanover Badlands Nitro Beatitude Big Jim Calchips Brute Cash Hall Chapter Seven Class Included Classic Card Shark Conway Hall Cr Excalibur Dejarmbro Delmarvelous Detour Hanover Deweycheatumnhowe Diamond Goal Dream Away Feelin Friskie Four Starz Rombro Fred & Ginger Glidemaster He's Watching Holiday Road Hypnotic Blue Chip I Can Only Imagine Lisa Mara Lucky Chucky Mach Three McArdle Mister Big Net Ten Eom Nuclear Breeze Philos Hanover Ponder Possess The Will Powerful Toy RockNRoll Heaven Rusty's For Real Shark Gesture So Surreal Sports Writer Stormin Normand Straight Shooting Sweet Lou Tarver Hanover The Fraternity Plan Thinking Out Loud Three Olives Trixton Toughofthetoughest We Will See Well Said Western Hero Western Shore Western Vintage Wishing Stone World of Rocknroll Yankee Cruiser For 26 years the most important annual fundraiser for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) has been the donation and sale of breedings. Dedicated to Standardbreds exclusively, SRF has 208 trotters and pacers in need of homes, nearly 200% more than any other organization.   Breeding donations are appreciated throughout the season and will be available for sale if received after the auction closes. To gift or purchase breedings or for other inquires on the auction process, please contact Tammy at 732 446-4422, or email Donations of breedings are tax-deductible and help rehabilitate, rescue, retrain, adopt, and follow-up every adoption for life, as well as support SRF's Youth Programs. Support of this vital fundraiser is greatly appreciated.   Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp. | NJ | 08535

An auction of more than 70 breedings is scheduled for from 8:00 am on Tuesday, January 26th through 8:00 pm on Thursday, January 28th. The process is simple and easy and bids will also be gladly accepted by contacting SRF at 732-446-4422 during that time. Winning bidders will be required to make a 10% deposit with the balance due at live foal. Below is the preliminary list.   All American Native Angus Hall Art Official Artiscape Badlands Hanover Badlands Nitro Big Jim Calchips Brute Cash Hall Chapter Seven Class Included Dejarmbro Conway Hall Classic Card Shark CR Excalibur Delmarvalous Detour Hanover Deweycheatumnhow Diamond Goal Dream Away Four Starz Robro Fred and Ginger Glide Master He's Watching Holiday Road Hypnotic Blue Chip I Can Only Imagine Lis Mara Lucky Chucky Mach Three McArdle Mister Big Net Ten Eom Nuclear Breeze Philos Hanover Powerful Toy Possess the will Rock N Roll Heaven Rusty's for Real Shark Gesture So Surreal Sportswriter Stormin Normand Three Olives Tarver Hanover Straight Shooting The Fraternity Pan Trixton Thinking Out Loud Tuffofthetoughest We Will See Well Said Western Hero Western Shore Western Vintage Wishing Stone World of RocknRoll Yankee Cruiser   For 26 years the most important annual fundraiser for the Standardbred Retirement Foundation (SRF) has been the donation and sale of breedings. Dedicated to Standardbreds exclusively, SRF has 208 trotters and pacers in need of homes, nearly 200% more than any other organization.   Breeding donations are appreciated throughout the season and will be available for sale if received after the auction closes. To gift or purchase breedings or for other inquires on the auction process, please contact Tammy at 732 446-4422, or email Donations of breedings are tax-deductible and help rehabilitate, rescue, retrain, adopt, and follow-up every adoption for life, as well as support SRF's Youth Programs. Support of this vital fundraiser is greatly appreciated.     Standardbred Retirement Foundation | 353 Sweetmans Lane, Suite 101 | Millstone Twp. | NJ | 08535

One of the things that quickly becomes apparent when looking at the harness racing breeding figures for 2015 in North America is the major decline suffered by Illinois. In 2014 Illinois had 699 mares bred which dropped to 492 in 2015, a reduction of nearly thirty percent in just one year. That may have been due to the talk about the future of both Balmoral Park and Maywood Park. Now with both of those racetracks closed to harness racing, the only track with any program in Illinois will be Hawthorne. The harness racing industry in Illinois looks in dire straights if the breeding trend from this year continues into 2016 With just one track and breeding numbers plummetting, the future in Illinois looks bleek. A couple of other states that had slumps much bigger than they would have anticipated were New York and Pennsylvania. New York dropped 341 mares served in 2015, a drop of just over twenty percent which again is not sustainable long term. With the great Sires Stakes program they have in New York, one can only surmise that the big service fees are finally biting the stallion owners where it hurts. The drop in Pennsylvania mares bred was smaller at just eleven and a half percent but yet again that is a number that will be setting off alarm bells at Hanover Shoe Farms. Canada showed an overall increase of twelve percent but it was all based around one province, Ontario which had an increase of nearly nineteen percent. A lot of that increase has been driven by an increasingly supportive government and a feeling that everybody is on the same page for once while some can be put down to mares returning from the USA now things look brighter in Canada. Below is a list of mares bred in North America in 2014 and in 2015, provided by David Carr of the USTA U.S. 2014 2015 California 19 13 Delaware 263 273 Florida 57 48 Illinois 699 492 Indiana 1788 1698 Iowa 246 197 Kentucky 55 14 Louisiana 3 0 Maine 144 108 Maryland 243 223 Michigan 33 66 Minnesota 124 125 Mississippi 36 2 Missouri 22 31 New Jersey 69 251 New York 1649 1308 North Carolina 4 3 North Dakota 0 5 Ohio 2594 2339 Pennsylvania 2184 1931 South Dakota 1 0 Tennessee 5 0 Texas 7 7 Virginia 16 11 Wisconsin 8 4       Canada 2014 2015 Alberta 309 322 British Columbia 15 9 Manitoba 63 59 New Brunswick 6 3 Newfoundland 3 1 Nova Scotia 20 12 Ontario 1666 2051 Prince Edward Island 368 317 Quebec 65 87 Saskatchewan 4 2

December 27, 2015 - Recent statistics of harness racing mares bred in 2015 illustrate a continued decline in North America by 6.3% from 2014 and 27.7% from 2010. Canada gained 12.9% from the 2014 level while US declined 10.9%. In total numbers 12,009 mares were bred in 2015 compared to 12,810 and 16,612 in 2014 and 2010 respectively. The most notable gains in 2015 were posted by Ontario (up 365 from prior year), New Jersey, Alberta and Delaware while decliners included Ohio (down 255), Pennsylvania, New York (down 341), Indiana and Illinois. Ohio retained the #1 state/province ranking with 2339 mares bred (fueled by its lucrative Sires Stakes program), ahead of Ontario with 2031 and Pennsylvania with 1931. Attractive sires have been added to many venues, including notably in New Jersey, Ohio and Ontario. Source: USTA’s David Carr Thomas H. Hicks  

Bargains are not limited to the Boxing Day Sales, with Australian breeders able to bag a bargain between now and 31 January 2016 thanks to stallion owners and harness racing Studs offering heavily discounted service fees and special offers on 24 stallions. This is the third year this incentive has been offered and although the foal figures from the 2014 Festive Season Programme are not yet finalised the feedback has been very encouraging. Statistics reveal a continued decline in the number of live foals born in 2014/15 (3777) - some 371 less live foals than the previous season - so, an initiative to encourage mares to be bred until the end of January, discounted service fees on selected stallions in the post-Christmas period is another strategy designed to address the progressive decline in the number of Standardbred foals bred in Australia. An interesting statistical review of foal dates shows no evidence that an early foal has an advantage over late foals (defined as born between December and February).  The comparative statistics for early versus late foals make interesting reading, particularly when acknowledging that most foals are bred for personal use and not commercial sale: 2014/15 season: 2yo born Sept - Nov average starts per starter =  4.93 2yo born Dec - Feb average starts per starter = 4.85 3yo born Sept - Nov average starts per starter = 8.92 3yo born Dec - Feb average starts per starter =  8.58 2yo born Sept - Nov % winners to starters =  32.85% 2yo born Dec - Feb % winners to starters = 30.83% 3yo born Sept - Nov % winners to starters = 47.00% 3yo born Dec - Feb % winners to starters = 44.78% 2013/14 season: 2yo born Sept - Nov average starts per starter = 5.08 2yo born Dec - Feb average starts per starter = 5.53 3yo born Sept - Nov average starts per starter =  9.13 3yo born Dec - Feb average starts per starter = 8.74 2yo born Sept - Nov % winners to starters = 33.79% 2yo born Dec - Feb % winners to starters = 28.14% 3yo born Sept - Nov % winners to starters = 47.01% 3yo born Dec - Feb % winners to starters = 45.61% 2012/13 season: 2yo born Sept - Nov average starts per starter = 5.17 2yo born Dec - Feb average starts per starter = 5.00 3yo born Sept - Nov average starts per starter = 9.13 3yo born Dec - Feb average starts per starter =  8.72 2yo born Sept - Nov % winners to starters = 31.34% 2yo born Dec - Feb % winners to starters = 32.93% 3yo born Sept - Nov % winners to starters = 46.53% 3yo born Dec - Feb % winners to starters = 44.58% The full list of stallions being offered via the 'Festive Season Stallion Service Specials' promotion and participating Studs contact details are available here.  

The nominees have been set for the first ever "Post Time Awards" which will take place on Thursday, December 31st at 6:00 PM Eastern on harness racing's newest podcast "Post Time with Mike and Mike". The two-hour show can be heard on There are six award categories, each with at least five nominees. The categories are Race Call Of The Year, Iron Horse Of The Year, Small Stable Of The Year, Horsewoman Of The Year, Upset Of The Year, and Race Fan Of The Year. The nominees will be announced on the Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, edition of "Post Time with Mike and Mike" beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern. Winners will be decided via open vote. Anyone can vote, and details on how to vote will be announced on Wednesday's show. Also on Wednesday's program, guests include Meadowlands and Freehold Track Announcer Ken Warkentin, and Anthony MacDonald continues his series about Post Time with Mike and Mike is harness racing's newest podcast co-hosted by track announcers Mike Bozich and Mike Carter. The show's focus is to positively promote harness racing. Every hoof that hits the racetrack, whether a claimer or a stakes horse, has a story to tell, and they plan on telling those stories. Log on to to listen. If you miss the show live, you can listen on-demand at any time. You can also follow the show on social media. Like them on Facebook at Post Time with Mike and Mike, and follow them on Twitter @ptmikeandmike1.

With the big $1,300,000 harness racing Inter-Dominion final at Gloucester Park in Perth looming large tomorrow, we here at Harnesslink thought we would do a runner by runner breeding analysis of all the runners. 1) Lovers Delight  - 8 year old gelding by Bettor's Delight from Love Is In The Air by Butler BG A New Zealand bred gelding by champion sire Bettors Delight from the former smart racemare Love Isin The Air 1:57.6 who was just a touch below the best racemares of her generation. Love Isin The Air has gone on to do a great job in the breeding shed, leaving seven winners. Apart from Lovers Delight 1:56.7 ($337,772), she has also produced Beach Romance 1:49.3 ($258,557) by Beach Towel and Braemoor 1:59.5 ($123,606) by Christian Cullen. 2) Waylade  -  5 year old entire by Washington VC from Letspartyallnite by Pacific Rocket A New Zealand bred entire by the very successful son of Presidential Ball in Washington VC from the unraced Pacific Rocket mare Letspartyallnite who is now deceased. Waylade was the only progeny she produced before her death. The grand dam by Falcon Seelster produced 13 foals for little or no result but the third dam Bee Gee's Dream by Butler BG was an outstanding producer. Her seven winners included such high class horses such as Another Party 1:56.3 ($888,678), Party Party 1:53.2 ($251,236) and Champagne Party 1:56.3 ($159,226) 3) Lennytheshark  -  6 year old entire by Four Starzzz Shark from Botswana by Albert Albert An Australian bred entire by a son of Cam's Card Shark in Four Starzzz Shark from the handy Albert Albert racemare Botswana. Botswana is turning into a prolific producer with three of her four first foals topping the $200,000 mark in earnings. Apart from Lennytheshark 1:52.8 ($670,992), Botswana has also produced Led Suitcase 1:55.8 ($261,395) and Blissful Boy 1:54.7 ($224,815) who are both by Blissfull Hall. The second dam Lourenco Marques has produced seven winners including Lord Marques 1:52.8 ($214,830) and Newbold Penny 2:00.9 ($175,757) Newbold Penny has since produced five winners including Penny Veejay 1:54 ($387,114) so it is a very strong maternal family 4) Philadelphia Man  -  7 year old entire by Art Major from the Fake Left mare, My Liberty Belle An Australian bred entire by the elite stallion Art Major from the very smart Fake Left racemare in My Liberty Belle 1:57.5 ($184,819) My Liberty Belle has only produced three live foals during her sixteen years at stud. Apart from Philadelphia Man 1:52.6 ($534,335), she has also left the handy racemare, The Red Opal 1:58 ($71,488) by Island Fantasy. Well known Queensland breeder Kevin Seymour has had a tremendous amount of success with this maternal family over the last twenty five years  5) Our Blackbird  -  8 year old gelding by Bettors Delight from Starling by Live Or Die  A New Zealand bred gelding by the champion sire Bettors Delight from the non winning Live Or Die racemare Starling. Starling has produced three winners from her first five foals but Our Blackbird 1:55.1($239,546) is the only one of any note. A full brother to Starling in Giuliana 1:53.4 ($62,605) has done a reasonable job to date in Australia. This is the family most closely associated with the late Colin Baynes with the best pacer from this side of the family being the very speedy Tax Credit 1:52.4 ($303,858) 6) Libertybelle Midfrew  -  5 year old mare by Christian Cullen from Lucinda Midfrew by Live Or Die A New Zealand bred mare by New Zealands best colonial stallion in Christian Cullen from a very handy Live Or Die racemare in Lucinda Midfrew 1:56.9 ($52,599). Lucinda Midfrew has produced four winners from her first seven foals. Apart from Libertybelle Midfrew 1:53.9 ($547,047) her other progeny include the smart Lulabelle Midfrew 1:57.3 ($46,045), Lulli Midfrew 1:56.8 ($35,237) and the race winning Mach Three daughter in Lucasta Midfrew whose first foal is the talented four year old son of Ohoka Arizona in Eyre Crusher 1:55.7 ($94,123) who is now in Western Australia. It is not a very deep maternal family but has enjoyed a lot of success in the last ten years. 7) Avonnova  -  9 year old gelding by Art Major from the Maple Lanes Strikes mare in Mini Slick An Australian bred son of the elite sire Art Major from an unraced daughter of Maple Lanes Strike in Mini Slick. Mini Slick has produced just two winners  from her seven foals to date. Apart from Avonnova 1:51.3 ($748,598), Mini Slick has also produced Iron Realm 1:55.8 ($168,630) The next two dams have produced plenty of foals but few have amounted to much with no other $100,000 winners from this side of the maternal family apart from the two from Mini Slick. 8) Devendra  -  6 year old gelding by Bettors Delight from the Walton Hanover mare in Queen Carey An Australian bred son of champion sire Bettors Delight from the very smart Walton Hanover racemare in Queen Carey 1:56.3 ($165,227) Queen Carey has only produced three live foals to date and they have all performed well so far. Apart from Devendra 1:52 ($283,473), she has also produced Benediction 1:57.8 ($161,235) and Estevao 1:57.9 ($46,610) Queen Carey is sister or half sister to eight winners. They include her full brother King Carey 1:57.1 ($165,227) and her half brother by Bettors Delight in Bettor Draw 1:51.9 ($201,818). It is a family that the Rattrays have had a huge amount of success with and it looks to be going from strength to strength. 9) My Hard Copy  -  A six year old entire by American Ideal from the Presidential Ball mare in Readallaboutit. A New Zealand bred son of American Ideal from the non winning Presidential Ball mare in Readallaboutit. She has so far produced two foals for two winners. Apart from My Hard Copy 1:51.6 ($523,142) she has also produced Press Release 1:59.5 Readallaboutit is a daughter of the Butler BG mare Natalia's Joy who has also produced the handy Money In The Pocket 1:58.8 ($68,225). The third dam of My Hard Copy is the imported Oil Burner mare in Natalia Lobell who was a product of Lana Lobell Farms. 10 Flaming Flutter  -  A six year old entire by the champion sire in Bettors Delight from the In The Pocket racemare in Twice As Hot 1:56.3 ($54,735) A New Zealand bred son of champion sire in Bettors Delight from a very speedy daughter of In The Pocket in Twice As Hot 1:56.3 ($54,735) Twice As Hot has produced six foals old enough to race to date for three winners. Apart from Flaming Flutter 1:53.9 ($427,665), she has also left the promising Mister Whittaker 1:54.9. Twice As Hot is a full or half sister to seven winners including such smart types as Waitfornoone 1:55.7 ($201,804), Mark Dennis 1:54.2 ($218,806), St Barts 1:57 ($162,506) and Fight Fire With Fire 1:55.1 ($151,657). The second dam Twice As Good 1:56.5 was by Butler BG and was a half sister to the Seahawk Hanover filly Pacific 1:53 ($871,550), who was three year old filly of the year in North America in 1987. Three things stand out when looking at the statistics. 1) Six of the finalists were born in New Zealand even though no New Zealand trained horses raced in this years Inter-Dominion series. 2) Four of the finalists are by the champion sire Bettor's Delight which is a great result as he stands in New Zealand and hasn't had huge books in Australia. 3) Seven of the finalists this year are by stallions who stand in New Zealand  Harnesslink Media

The words responsible and breeding should be an inseparable pairing in the harness racing breeding industry.   The successful future of a foal depends heavily on the investment of the breeder to:   1) financially project costs from conception to sale or lifespan of the horse if it is to be kept. 2) research, research, research! The homework list is a long one including choosing a mare and stallion with great conformation and temperament, investigating their performance records, checking fertility rates, health records, offspring records and more... 3) educate themselves and plan ahead. Impeccable stable management and genetics knowledge combined with understanding special nutrition and healthcare requirements for the broodmare, foal and breeding stallion are all prerequisites to breeding horses responsibly.   In the following article, two experienced and successful horse breeders: Dr. Moira Gunn of Paradox Farm and Doug Nash, formerly from Glengate have taken the time to share some of their vast knowledge.   Dr. Gunn has had recent cause for celebration when Lexi Lou, bred by Paradox farm, received the 2014 Canadian Horse of the Year award after a string of wins including the Queen's Plate and the Oaks.   Nash was farm manager at Glengate (formerly Cantario Farms) for almost 30 years. Glengate consisted of 3 farms, housing 80 - 100 mares, 8 stallions, and yearlings. In addition to servicing 1,200 mares annually with their own stallions, Glengate collected, shipped, froze, evaluated, imported and exported semen for 125 to 140 stallions of all breeds and disciplines. Nash has also shared his knowledge as an instructor for Equine Guelph's online Growth and Development course.   Both breeders were candid discussing one of the most important considerations − ensuring financial means to see the horse through to a purposeful life. From stud fees to reproductive health exams and specialized nutrition, there is much to consider in calculating the bottom line. Stud fees can range anywhere from $200 - $200,000! When discussing logistics, Nash gives an example, "If you are breeding for profit you would not spend over $3,000 in stud fees if your broodmare is worth $10,000." Nash also expects private operations will not incur less than $14,000 (excluding the stud fee) in costs leading up to a yearling sale. In commercial operations this number would be closer to 17 or $18,000. Gunn explains daily costs of boarding just a broodmare vary widely and range up to $40/day.   "Quality of care" questions should include the size of stalls and pasture. Methods and frequency of ongoing nutritional analysis should be discussed, for example, testing each batch of hay, soil testing the fields and consulting with a nutritionist to balance feed rations.   Both Gunn and Nash concur that selecting the best genetics in the world will not help if paramount importance is not placed on the special nutritional needs of the broodmare and foal.   An excellent in-depth understanding of nutrition, including protein requirements, micro-minerals, etc. is crucial to guard against the myriad of developmental conditions that could seriously affect the horse's future potential. Gunn points out, "the number one mistake I see people make is not understanding the nutritional program required prior to conception, during pregnancy and in the first two years of life of a foal."   Nash and Gunn understand the value of a reproductive exam, especially if it is suspected the mare may have troubles conceiving or has lost a foal in the past. Nash explains the reproductive exam is much the same as a pre-purchase exam, checking for good overall health but also including the reproductive tract. Gunn described elements of the exam such as performing an ultrasound to check size, shape and consistency of the uterus and inspecting the vulva conformation (i.e. too sloped could predispose windsucking). On a suspect mare, a uterine culture and biopsy can also provide important information. If the mare has a cresty neck, hormone profiles can check for hypothyroidism.   Nash comments, "Money spent today on a reproductive health exam can save you tomorrow by avoiding an abortion."   Following the reproductive exam there will be many veterinary service calls including palpations and ultrasounds which can run approximately $1,000 - $2,000.   Once the budget hurdle has been cleared, the homework begins. One of the biggest questions to answer is WHY are you breeding? Knowing your expectations of the foal will help you make realistic selections when it comes to choosing an appropriate pairing considering size, breed, athletic ability, temperament... which brings us to WHO? When looking at performance records, it is important not to skip over the broodmare and look only at the stallion. Look for the traits, conformation, personality and athletic ability desired in both parents. An ideal body condition score (5-6 out of 9) and good overall health including up to date health records (vaccines, worming...) should exist for the dam and stud. Nash states he likes a mare who adapts quickly to new surroundings and possesses a pleasant attitude. Age is a special consideration for the mare as a decline in reproductive ability starts between the ages of 12 and 15. The older mare may have trouble bringing a pregnancy to term. Expanding on the importance of health Nash cautions, "Horses in pain do not conceive." A mare retired from work is not an automatic breeding prospect, depending on the reason. For example a mare with chronic laminitis is not a breeding candidate.   Nash advises the selection process when deciding to breed horses involves three to four months of homework. He looks at performance records not only of the stallion but also the offspring. The size and conformation of the offspring should be noted. "Find out as much about the stallion as you can," says Nash. This includes questions such as live foal rate? A thorough check for any hereditary conditions is a must. Breeding for your own preference needs to be carefully balanced by being cognizant of the marketplace to avoid unwanted horses and paddock ornaments.   After the WHY and WHO comes HOW? Live, fresh or frozen is the next topic to study. "Professional breeders will be able to provide semen analysis and be able to tell you how well it transports either fresh or frozen," says Gunn. Raw motility and extended motility are important considerations when transporting semen. Morphology of semen and track records of fertility should also be available. If the mare in question has had difficulty conceiving, you are better off selecting a stallion with high fertility rates. If considering live cover, not all of this information will necessarily be available but past track records of getting mares into foal should be unless it is the stallion's first year standing at stud. A semen evaluation will also give insight as to how many mares the stallion can breed in a day. When choosing live or fresh semen, you must also ensure timing of ovulation and sperm delivery are accurately synchronized. For a live cover, Nash recommends a site visit and inquiring about the facilities health, safety and biosecurity procedures. When using frozen semen, Gunn explains frequent palpations will be necessary for the mare throughout the day and night to have success with this method as timing is critical.   When it comes to stable management, you need to be a planning pro with a dedication to details. On top of impeccable general standards, breeding facilities need to provide a suitable environment for broodmares and foals. The foaling area needs to provide ample room to avoid injury during birth. Stalls should have solid walls with dimensions of 16 x 12 being more desirable. In the turn out area, the addition of skylights in three sided sheds make use of sunlight to kill bacteria. Pasture fences should be constructed so the foal cannot roll out of the paddock when lying down. For example: post and board fencing with a fourth rail is often used to contain young stock. Hay racks need to be attached high enough up on the wall that a foal or yearling cannot get hung up. Creep feeders allow weanlings to feed undisturbed and reach their nutritional requirements. It is important to ensure the weanling is consuming enough feed prior to weaning to ensure there will not be a shock on its nutritional development.   At weaning time, it is ideal to move the pair out of visual and vocal contact to reduce the risk of injury should they try to reunite. Have a plan for companionship for the mare and weanling after they are separated. The weanling could be introduced to other weanlings or an older gelding. Equine Guelph has published new research on Two-stage weaning as another method of weaning. Last and certainly not least, it is important to plan every step of the way with your veterinarian to ensure good health before, during and after foaling. Vaccinations and boosters need to be given at the correct times and accurate records kept. They may also be able to direct you to a source of colostrum, should there be any issues in the crucial time after the birth. This information is worth checking into before you need it. Planning every detail ahead of time is required to prepare for any eventuality.   Responsible breeders perform due diligence in all areas of stable management, financial planning, and market research. The investment of hard work, homework, record keeping and proper care is realized when horses reach their full potential. If you are the owner of such a horse - it all began with the responsible breeder.   by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions     Web Link:   Story Links:   Nutrition Right from the Start:   Vaccination EquiPlanner:   When to Vaccinate Broodmares video:   Colostrum:   Two-stage Weaning article - page 3 of EG Newsletter   Research Radio (Dr. Chenier's podcast on preparation for breeding season)   Equine Guelph's Online courses:   Equine Guelph | 50 McGilvray St | Guelph | Ontario | N1G 2W1 | Canada

One of the better two year old harness racing fillies of this season in Northern Velocity has been sold to prominent Australian harness racing enthusiast Scott Robertson and his wife Kathy. Northern Velocity raced at the highest level all season with wins in the $146,250 Sales Race at Addington as well as the $25,000 Leonard Memorial Stakes at Addington and the $25,000 Caduceus Club Classic at Invercargill. She faced the starter eight times during the season for three wins and two placings for a healthy stake haul of $140.560. With the All Star barn having the two other high class two year old fillies in the stable in Dream About Me and Arden's Choice, they made the decision to sell Northern Velocity after the Harness Jewels. A daughter of Mach Three, Northern Velocity is a half sister to the outstanding pacer Pembrook Benny 1:53.6 ($907,890) and was purchased from the 2014 New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch for $72,500 by Mark Purdon. While Northern Velocity has been sold to Australian interests she won't be lost to the New Zealand scene just yet as new part owner Scott Robertson explains. " I have moved her to the Mark Jones barn with a view to her spending a big part of her three year old season in New Zealand." " The big aim will be the Sales Race again but apart from that I am more than happy to leave it up to Mark where she races." " At some point she will head over here to my trainer Steve Maguire," Scott said when speaking to Harnesslink this week. Scott is slowly building up a small but select broodmare band with the aim of concentrating on the top end of the market at the yearling sales and Northern Velocity will join that broodmare band when she has finished racing. Some smart mares have already been purchased such as * Joyfuljoy (NZ) 1:51.6 ($480,442) who has produced a lovely Rock N Roll Heaven filly to date. *Rockahula Baby - An Artsplace mare from a three quarter sister to Rocknroll Hanover 1:48.6 ($3,069,093) *Glenferrie Diva 1:58 - A Christian Cullen half sister to the very smart Foreclosure 1:48.8 ($807,746) *Magic Maddy Lombo - The dam already of Suave Stuey Lombo 1:49.6 ($566,512), Miss Trickin Lombo 1:53.3 ($230,312) and this years smart two year old filly Soho Maleleine 1:58 ($47,973) *Snug Harbour - A Bettor's Delight mare from  a full sister to Courage Under Fire 1:54.2 ($1,485,629) *The Baggy Green 1:57 ($108,700) - A very smart Art Major daughter of the brilliant racemare Lady Waratah 1:59.5 ($564,770) Scott has set his sights on having a small select broodmare band. " Somewhere around the ten to twelve mark is what I an aiming at." " I plan to sell everything in the first instance but as we get established I would prefer to sell the colts at the sales and retain the fillies where possible," Scott said It has been an ambitious project by Scott and Kathy but with the class of mares they already have and others of the class of Northern Velocity to still join the elite broodmare band, the future looks pretty bright for these standardbred breeders. Harnesslink Media

An iconic print of Greyhound setting his historic time trial mark of 1:59.3/4 on July 16, 1937, reproduced from an oil by Richard Stone Reeves, will be offered for live auction on July 5 at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Goshen, N.Y. The print, numbered 34 of the original 1955 issue of 260, comes from the private collection of a Museum member, who has owned it since publication. A portion of auction proceeds will benefit the Museum's Restoration Fund. The image of Greyhound depicts him at Goshen Historic Track, driven by Sep Palin. The scene looks much the same now as it did in 1937, with the exception of a now-removed hub rail. The resulting time was the first under the 2:00 barrier on a half-mile track for a trotter. This rare print is in good condition with scattered foxing, and is matted and framed. The original oil by Reeves is in the Museum's collection and was presented as a gift to the founder, E. Roland Harriman, in July of 1955 by his friends Lawrence Sheppard, Elbridge T. Gerry Sr., Octave Blake, R.W. Hart, Walter Candler and Leo C. McNamara. Reeves, who painted more than 1,000 horses in his career, including most of the finest Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds of the latter half of the 20th century, was, in the words of the New York Times, "one of the premier equestrian artists in the world." His commissioned works were oil on canvas, "neo romantic in style" said the Times and reported, though never confirmed by Reeves, to start at $25,000. Reeves cites this image of Greyhound, trotting in an event that occurred in 1937, when he was a teenager, as the only horse of more than 1,000 he painted that he did not see in person. Reeves began painting top-flight race horses after his service in World War II. He died in 2005. Those who would like to bid, but cannot attend the July 5 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, can arrange for proxy bid by contacting Historic Collections Manager Rebecca Howard at or calling 845-294-6330. The conservation of art and artifacts is one of the Museum's highest priorities. The Restoration Fund is a dedicated account established by to provide funding for the preservation of its collection. Funding sources include donations and artifact sponsorships, grants and the annual Restoration Raffle. Now in its 21st year, the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame's Restoration Raffle has provided more than $86,000 toward ensuring long-term preservation and accessibility of paintings, lithographs, vehicles, glass photographic negative and textiles from the Museum's historic collections. Winning tickets will be drawn for a fantastic list of prizes during the Hall of Fame induction dinner, Sunday July 5. Please contact Missy Gillespie for prize information and raffle ticket sales. By Ellen Harvey Harness Racing Communications USTA  

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