Day At The Track

A tribute to Lazarus has been put together and shown on New Zealand's premier harness racing television weekly show 'The Box Seat' May the 9th 2018. You can watch the video below; Here is a behind the scenes feature video taken on Lazarus on the morning of the 22nd of February 2017 the day that Lazarus won the Victorian Cup. Harness Racing New Zealand produced this Good Luck Lazarus video;  

New Zealand's greatest racehorse Lazarus has been sold to a North American syndicate in a record deal and will not race here again. The $3.8million earner will leave for the US on May 24 where he will be aimed at a possible four-race mini career in an attempt to secure a major win there to help his dual hemisphere stallion credentials. While the exact price is confidential the Herald estimates it must be close to $4 million when the other public offer for the five-year-old stallion is taken into account. Lazarus has been purchase by US thoroughbred breeding giant Taylor Made Stallions, a Kentucky-based operation run by the Taylor brothers, who started their racing lives in harness racing but have concentrated on thoroughbred breeding and yearling preparation for the last three decades. It is believed they have recently reignited their interest in standardbred breeding by purchasing at least part of champion US trotter What The Hill but the Lazarus deal, put together by South Auckland agent John Curtin, breaks new ground. While North America's best horses shuttling here to stand at stud in their off-season is common, trying to turn an Australasian standardbred into a dual hemisphere stallion is extremely rare. Christian Cullen stood one season at stud in the US but without having raced there was never going to be hugely commercial. Lazarus will be given his chance with two races at the famous Red Mile track in October targeted as well as the Breeders Crown at Pocono, a series his new connections would need to pay a supplementary payment to make him eligible for. But he will head to the US without his champion trainer Mark Purdon, with two of North America's leading trainers apparently in the frame to take over his training. If, and it is a big if, Lazarus could win a serious race in the US and pace a super fast mile he has the attributes to become that rare dual hemisphere stallion. In his 45 start career he has proven to be one of the greatest stayer bred in this part of the world, with some remarkable wins in two New Zealand Cups, an Inter Dominion, Hunter and Victoria Cups. But just as importantly from a stallion appeal point of view he was a sensational two and three-year-old, suggesting his stock will have the natural speed to run early. And he is bred on Australasia's golden cross, being by breed-defining stallion Bettors Delight out of a Christian Cullen mare. The one down side to that he is obviously can't serve Bettors Delight mares, who could be the dominant broodmare bunch in Australasia over the next decade. Details on where he will stand and for which studs in either hemisphere are yet to be decided. His departure will sadden many local harness racing fans as it means Lazarus will not get the chance to attempt a third New Zealand Cup win at Addington in November. And with several other high profile retirements or exports in the last year - Smolda, Heaven Rocks, Vincent being the biggest - next season's open class pacing ranks looks the most open in a decade. LAZARUS Breeding: 5h Bettors Delight-Bethany Trainers: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Record: 45 starts, 35 wins, nine placings. Earnings: $3,821,066. Highlights: New Zealand Cup (twice), Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup, Victoria Cup, Chariots Of Fire, Messenger, Taylor Mile, New Zealand, Northern and Victoria Derbys, Harness Jewels 2-yo, Sires' Stakes Final 3-y-o. By Michael Guerin Courtesy of The New Zealand Herald New Zealand Cup 2016 New Zealand Cup 2017 2017 Inter Dominion Grand Final Hunter Cup Victoria Cup

A training course for ‘sulky’ drivers and trotting horse owners will begin next month in the Dublin area as part of a “carrot and stick” approach by the Government to curb illegal road racing. The Department of Agriculture has commissioned the training programme, which will also be rolled out in other areas of the State, and is currently examining the issue of regulating sulky racing. This follows an increase in the number of collisions on public roads involving such vehicles and the death of a 12-year-old boy in a sulky incident in Dublin. A sulky is an unprotected lightweight, two-wheeled cart usually drawn by a horse or pony. The department said the course would be run by a team of veterinary surgeons and nurses with a “clear understanding of the cultural sensitivities surrounding participation in road racing”. Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the issues around sulky racing were complex and not always clear cut “particularly as a variety of horse-drawn vehicles are legitimately and safely used on Irish roads”. “The course will encourage participants to move away from road racing practices and move to racing on tracks and to engage with the regulated sport of harness racing on tracks, as operated by the Irish Harness Racing Association,” he said. People Before Profit TD Gino Kenny has expressed concern that sulky racing would be banned, something which he said would not work. Independent TD Mattie McGrath has stated an intention to introduce legislation to ban the practice. Complex issue Describing the sport as popular among the Traveller and working-class communities, Mr Kenny said banning it “will simply drive the practice underground”. Raising the issue in the Dáil this week, the Dublin South-West TD referred to a sulky event in Portmarnock, Co Dublin and said that while the track was not widely known about it was “very good and very positive for those who use it”. Mr Creed said the unregulated nature of sulky racing on public roads was dangerous for horses, their owners and the public at large. Describing it as a complex issue, he said: “We need both the carrot and the stick in this area. We have the legislative toolbox necessary but we need to ensure all actors involved in the implementation of that legislation live up to their respective responsibilities”. The Minister said the department was keen to raise awareness of the importance of good horse welfare among sulky participants and the owners and keepers of trotting horses. Mr Creed last year formally opened the Clondalkin Equine Club in Dublin, a facility for urban-owned horses where local youths are taught about equine care and welfare. He said “the urban horse is as much a part of the story of the Irish horse and cannot be forgotten or written out” but “there is an issue around welfare that is disproportionately evident” in urban areas. Mr Kenny said urban horse ownership sometimes had very negative connotations, “but it is actually a very positive thing, particularly for young people in working-class communities. Travellers have also been unfairly criticised in relation to horse ownership.” Marie O'Halloran Reprinted with permission of The Irish Times

WEST CORK, IE -The harness racing community in West Cork has always been generous when it comes to looking after local charities. Following the record breaking Red John Memorial Festival of harness racing in Lyre last August, the committee made a presentation recently to Cork University Hospital Charities Committee. "We feel that it is important to look after those who may need medical help and CUH was our chosen charity this year." said Caroline Collins, treasurer of the RJM. "In 2018 we are going local with Bantry Pallative Care the charity "added Collins. Harness racing received a massive boost recently with the government funded Indecon report into the industry published and following on that report the government have announced funding of a five year strategic plan giving the sport a chance to grow further. The West Cork season opens at Inchadoney Beach on May 13th with the Red John Memorial Festival pencilled in for Sat 16th and sun 17th June at Lyre. By Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink      

WEST CORK, IE - Nominations for the 2018 Red John Memorial Pace ,The Maven Trotting Derby and the Oakwood Stud Irish Three Year Old Grass Pacing Championships closed recently and once again the biggest Grass Festival in Ireland has attracted bumper entries . 65 pacers have been nominated for the Red John Memorial Pace. 2018 sees a change in format for the pacers with a high grade and low grade heats and finals with entries from the UK among that number. The Maven Trotting Derby has attracted 55 French bred trotters . Nine three year olds are nominated for their aged grass pacing championship. Both the Maven and Red John Memorial have Florida based Bill Donovan as the main sponsor. Bill has traced his roots to Skibbereen and has forged a formidable alliance with the Murphy Brothers of IB Stables where he has sent some US bred pacers to be trained by the famous Harness Racing Nursery which is located on Innisbeg Island between Skibbereen and Baltimore deep in the heart of West Cork . Caroline Collins of The committee takes up the story. "Last year Bill Donovan came on board as our main sponsor and after a record breaking meet last year we wanted to make the festival even better .So we looked at the pacers format and came up with having a high and low grade format thus ensuring as many horses could have a shot at winning . We are delighted to have got 65 entries which all going well means four low grade heats and four high grade heats with two qualifiers going forward to each to form two eight horse finals. The Maven Trotters derby has seen a 30% increase in entries(40 last year to 55 this term) and we are delighted especially for Bill as this final honors Maven one of the finest trotters to grace Harness Racing all around the world who was owned by Bill . We have a small committee in name but come June all the harness racing community come on board. The track is owned by Ger Hegarty who over the Winter has carried out improvement works on both the track and spectator facilities and we will be ready to welcome people from all over Ireland and The UK .We are also blessed to have Gretta Cormican a brother of Ger and her army of stewards to help out for the weekend. As another great man said "Failure in our eyes is not an option" added Collins in a recent interview. The committee will be making a presentation to Cork University Hospital with proceeds from last year and will offically launch this years Festival later this month. So reserve the 16th and 17th June for the Red John Memorial Weekend Festival of harness Racing. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink   

Following on from the success of the Oakwood Stud Mares' Pacing Series at Corbiewood in 2017, the Scottish Harness Racing Club has approved the return of the series for 2018 with the same format of six legs and a grand final to be staged on Thursday 9th August. The 2018 running of the series will welcome a new sponsor in Greentree Standardbreds, run by the Clark family based in County Durham, north England, who recently imported the impressive grey stallion Smack Talk to stand his first season at stud in the UK. Conditions for the series remain largely unaltered, with nominations invited on or before Sunday 3rd June. Last year's series saw five different mares win the six qualifying legs, with Starzapan (2016 Scottish Horse of the Year) the only mare to win twice. The aggregate winning distances across the six legs and final was only 8 and a half lengths, illustrating the close and competitive finishes throughout the series. It was the Gilvear family's DONTSTOPTHEPARTY (Dreamfair Vogel-Party West-Western Hanover), the winner of the fifth leg, who landed the spoils in a thrilling final with a well-timed run to take up the lead in the closing stages of the race. In addition, there will be two STAGBI Future Broodmares races staged at Corbiewood in 2018, complimenting a solid programme of races for mares racing in Scotland this year. "The aim of the Greentree Standardbreds Mares' Pacing Series, in conjunction with the STAGBI Future Broodmares races," said Sarah Thomas, who created the series in 2017. "is to provide the owners and trainers of mares not only in Scotland but in neighbouring regions who race at Corbiewood with the opportunity to keep mares in training longer before considering the option of breeding.  "These races add real merit to any mare's CV," Thomas explained. "and the grand final for a decent purse rewards connections who defer going down the breeding route for an additional season or two.  It was hoped that these races would be the type that connections really wanted to win and based on the atmosphere on the night of the final last year, this was certainly achieved.  With some of last year's mares already known to be back in training, plus the potential pool of mares who will become eligible this year, the 2018 series should be a really exciting prospect!" A new drivers' series is currently in the final stages of production and more details of this will follow in due course. Corbiewood will stage in excess of 20 meetings this year with the season kicking off on Sunday 6th May. Come Harness Racing!! by Sarah Thomas, for Harnesslink      

Public representatives have called for a full clampdown on sulky harness racing and the introduction of new bylaws after an exhausted horse collapsed and died in a residential neighbourhood. The horse, which appears to have collapsed from exhaustion, was attached to a sulky cart when it began to become fatigued in the Hawthorn Mews housing estate in Dublin Hill. According to witnesses, the drivers took the harness off the horse and left it to die, leaving with their equipment. Sinn Féin councillor for the area Thomas Gould said people already had major concerns about the care of horses during the cold spell and this latest incident needed a full investigation. “Last year there was a major round up and something similar needs to be done.” A dead horse covered in a blanket at Dublin Hill yesterday   “Every day there is sulky racing taking place in Cork. Up in Ballyhooley Road, Kilmore Road, Mahon, and the Straight Road,” he said. Fianna Fáil councillor Ken O’Flynn described it as “revolting behaviour by anybody’s standards”. “I believe at this stage that we need a full assault on the individuals that are causing the problem. People putting up their hands and saying they don’t know anything about it and it’s not their animal is not acceptable. “Cork City Council needs to penalise those who are treating animals in an appalling condition and we need to introduce sulky bylaws, the same as Kilkenny, to ban it from our streets and take those animals into care.” County Councillor Ger Keohane also described the incident as “barbaric and beyond cruel”. “That animal must have suffered and gone through stress, hurt and torture right up until its last breath. For someone to just unhook it and leave it there and discard it on the side of the road, as if it is nothing, is disgraceful.” Workers’ Party Councillor Ted Tynan said it was an appalling incident. “It was not a natural death. It was a young female horse. It is appalling treatment of an animal,” he said. Mr Tynan said it reminded him of an issue he had battled with previously of horses left on the outskirts of Rathcooney to starve to death. He called on the Department of Agriculture to step up and tackle the issue of animal mistreatment. “I thought the legislation brought in in 2009 would help to curb this kind of behaviour and make people more accountable, but obviously it hasn’t worked. “I am calling on the Department of Agriculture to get to work and deal with this issue.”   The horse being removed from an estate at Dublin Hill. Pic: Damian Coleman. ISPCA inspector Lisa O’Donovan said she has noticed a trend of young people carrying out these acts of cruelty and described it as a scary phenomenon. “It is not acceptable that you have young kids going out there driving a horse into the ground and then just walking away,” she said. “A few people said to me that they were laughing as they went which I think is even more horrifying. There is no remorse, guilt. The horse is of no more value to them than anything else. “What way are these kids being brought up? What moral values, what ethical values are being instilled in these children from their parents? because it begins at home. This behaviour begins at home,” added Ms O’Donovan. She has called on the public to report incidents of animal cruelty and to hand over any information they may have on the incident in Hawthorn Mews estate to the authorities. “We need the public to be vigilant and we need the public to stand up and say: ‘look this isn’t on, this isn’t going to be accepted’. “Someone out there who saw this knows who these people are. “People have mobile phones — there could be video footage of it. There could be someone who had photographs of the people involved and we ask them to either report it, either go to the gardaí or contact us, send the information to us. “It’s all confidential,” said Inspector O’Donovan. Local resident Noreen Murphy said she and other residents were in shock at the severe cruelty that was displayed by the sulky drivers. Ms Murphy said there are often horses being driven at speed around the area and it is a regular occurrence to have horses flogged and raced in the area. “They seem to be training them for sulky races, driving them around at speed.” Ms Murphy said more needs to be done to protect the horses. “There needs to be more inspections and more control over animals. If you can’t look after animals, you shouldn’t have them. All it requires is a basic level of respect, not to be cruel.” To contact the ISPCA helpline call 1890-515515 or email: helpline@ispca.ie; there is a web form available online at: www.ispca.ie/contact_us. Mayfield Garda station can be contacted on 021-4558510. By Roison Burke Reprinted with permission of The Evening Echo

Harness racing, one of Britain’s most exciting equine sports, takes place right on Falkirk’s doorstep yet many have never heard of it. The unique sport, also more commonly known as ‘trotting’, is a form of horse racing in which the animals race at a specific gait. Either a trotter or pacer then pulls a two-wheeled cart, known as a sulky, and its jockey/driver round a track at speeds of up to 35mph over distances of one mile or longer. All this while the driver is barely two feet from the ground. It is also one of the few sports that allows men and women to compete together on an equal level. Corbiewood Stadium, near Bannockburn, has been host to the Scottish Harness Horse Racing Club for over 50 years. It has offered American-style harness racing to members since 1966 and many Falkirk horses and trainers have come to call it their home. Falkirk members of the club, Wilma and Davie Morton, have been heavily involved in harness racing for decades. The couple have owned Corbiewood three times, and been members for 34 years and 60 years respectively. Along with the sense of community that the club brings, members are very competitive and strive for the highest standards of horses to achieve national awards. Wilma and Davie have trained numerous top level horses who all went on to win renowned races in the UK. Most recently, their horse, Stoneriggs Mystery, won British Harness Racing Club Horse of the Year. Wilma is also the former UK champion Lady Driver, a prestigious nationwide award. She said: “I married into the world of harness horse racing. “Until I met Davie I had never heard about the sport. It’s such an incredible and fascinating sport yet many people don’t realise it exists.” Over the years the track has changed hands and its other purposes, such as greyhound racing, have ceased to exist, however, harness racing remains a permanent fixture. There was an uncertainty over the track’s future due to land redevelopment in the surrounding area but in 2016, Corbiewood celebrated its golden anniversary, making it the longest running harness racing venue in the UK. The club is a non-profit organisation made up of local members and it is run only by those directly involved in the sport. Now the club is reaching out to the people of Falkirk to get involved and support them. James Patterson, club member, said: “The club is always open to having new members as it is great to have fresh faces bringing fresh ideas for the sport. “We’re eager to open it up to a whole new generation of trainers and drivers. “It’s great to see the success of the club still going strong after 50 years and we’d like to keep that going.” Those looking to get involved in harness horse racing can visit their website www.BHRC.org.uk for more information and news on the full race calendar.‚Ä®Admission for spectators is £10 and children under the age of 16 go free. By Eve Macdonald Reprinted with permission of the Falkirk Herald  

WEST CORK, IE - Deirdre Goggin was the star of the show on her home road in Goleen when riding a treble at the beautiful Causeway venue on Sunday last. Two of the winners were for her brother Micheal. In the grade A & B Pace Rhyds Ponder set the early fractions leading to the first and second turns heading to the third turn Goggin sent Saunders Paris to the front and from here to the last turn they were in command. They were roared home by the local partisan crowd and were four lengths in front at the finish . Saunders Picasso another Goggin trained inmate was making his road debut and ram out an easy winner in the grade E Pace. This time the winner was in front from the start and when Van Helsing made a mistake at the second turn Picasso was clear and won easily. The third leg of the Deidre Goggin treble came aboard Gadgie Pan in the Grade C & D . This one has had a few niggling problems during the season and put them behind him today winning in good style . Fair Enough who was placed third in the All Ireland was back to Grade C today and with Matt O Reilly in the Saddle jumped off in front and were not for catching. "I gave him a week or two to recover but I will run him during the Summer"' said Chris O Reilly owner of the winner. Kentucky Finale has found a few smart Novices a bit too good for him over the last few runs but looked a different horse today disposing of his only rival Captain Morgan in the opening Novice Pace. He will also be kept going for the turf season . So Goleen brought the curtain down on the Winter season . The turf season opens in Cork on Sunday 20th May at Inchadoney Beach . Portmarnock Raceway in Dublin will open on Easter Sunday. by Tim Kelleher, for Harnesslink Goleen Road Trotting Races Results. Race 1: Novice Trot. 1st: Kentucky Finale, T. O' Leary. 2nd: Captain Morgan, D. Goggin. Race 2: Grade D Trot. 1st: Gadgie Pan, D. Goggin. 2nd: Blackfield Jenny, M. O' Reilly. 3rd: On The Other Side, T. O' Leary. Race 3: Grade C & D Trot. 1st: Fair Enough, M. O' Reilly. 2nd: Fairdays Bret, D. Goggin. 3rd: Meadowbranch Romeo, T. O' Leary. Race 4: Grade E Trot. 1st: Saunders Picasso, D. Goggin. 2nd: Shanes Income, M. O' Reilly. 3rd: Van Helsing, P. O' Brien. 4th: Ballyhill Jimmy, T. O' Leary. Race 5: Grade A/B Trot. 1st: Saunders Paris, D. Goggin. 2nd: Rhyds Ponder, T. O' Leary. 3rd: Rhyds Dilemma, M. O' Reilly.