Day At The Track

Trista Dixon disqualified for 12 months

10:12 AM 23 Dec 2017 NZDT
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Grant Dixon and wife Trista
Grant Dixon and wife Trista
Jono Searle Photo

Queensland's leading harness racing reinswoman has been disqualified for a year for providing a gap for her husband to win a race.

Harness racing stewards have disqualified Trista Dixon for her drive on the gelding Foursharesmorebeers at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Stewards found Dixon deliberately moved her horse inwards at the 100m mark to afford the horse Our Overanova, driven by her husband Grant, clear running after it had been blocked for a run at various stages in the home straight.

Grant Dixon trained both horses.

In the process of giving her husband a clear run Mrs Dixon interfered with the horse Iona Grinner which was inside her horse.

Our Overanova won the race but stewards swiftly opened an inquiry and have disqualified Trista Dixon with immediate affect.

The disqualification casts another shadow over the controversial harness racing industry which has been rocked by unrelated charges of race-rigging over the past year.

Three of the top six drivers of recent seasons – Shane Graham, Bart Cockburn and Matthew Neilson – have been the subject of race-fixing charges.

The Dixons are the most successful husband and wife team in the Queensland harness-racing industry.

Last season Trista drove 83 winners for more prizemoney than any other Queensland reinswoman while Grant trained more than twice as many winners as anyone in the state.

The Queensland harness industry is on its knees following the race-fixing investigations and participants are fearing for its future.

The industry wants government support for a new grandstand at Albion Park and a new track at the Gold Coast to replace the old one which will be used as part of the Commonwealth Games precinct. But the chances of government support are reduced with every scandal.

By Robert Craddock

Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail

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