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Last week’s withdrawal of the Yatala Harness Racing proposal could lead to legal action between harness industry heavyweights and Racing Queensland on the future of Albion Park. The Yatala proposal included the gift of land at Yatala by harness benefactor Kevin Seymour and his wife Kay, estimated to be worth $3 million, and a business proposal with forecast non-core business revenue of $8 million a year. However, Yatala Harness Racing Club president Greg Mitchell wrote to participants last week informing them the proposal had been withdrawn. “There has been no appetite from the RQ chairman Steve Wilson or the board to engage and make the project work,” Mitchell said. “With the latest paltry prizemoney distribution of $400,000 to harness racing and the complete lack of vigour from this board, does it really want harness racing to survive?” Seymour said the site had full approvals from Gold Coast City Council for a harness racing facility, but RQ failed to take up the offer. “It is disappointing, however life goes on and I’m hopeful Racing Queensland will fund another site with a similar cost base and the ability to earn significant revenue from non-harness racing operations,” he said. It had been proposed Yatala would replace the former Gold Coast harness facility, which was closed, with no compensation to this point, to build the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village. The Albion Park venue has been the home of harness racing in Brisbane for decades. At the same time, Seymour and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club are threatening legal action over the promised $15 million grandstand redevelopment at the facility. The standoff got ugly last year when RQ proposed redeveloping Albion Park and moving harness racing to another facility. Seymour countered with a proposal of his own to develop Albion Park, but with harness to remain at the venue. Wilson accepted the Albion Park issue needed to be resolved before harness’ future could be determined. “It’s not our desire (to end up in court). I have always said we will honour all our legal obligations. Sometimes that means if you have to discover what those obligations are in court, so be it,” Wilson said. “The value of that entire site is an asset of all three codes of racing. There’s no dispute over who owns it. It’s owned by Racing Queensland and Racing Queensland’s charter is to achieve the best outcome for all three codes. “We’ve never said we would sell Albion Park. Our research shows it’s not the best place for the long-term future of either greyhounds or harness.” Racing Queensland has promised two greyhound tracks, but Wilson said the project was delayed because “it’s taken longer than we thought to get the right land, but we’re still fully committed to it”. The Albion Park development dispute continues to drag on. Nathan Exelby, The Courier-Mail Reprinted with permission of The Courier Mail

Goulburn trainer-driver Dennis Day hopes Harry Day can measure up at Menangle after an impressive harness racing victory at Wagga on Sunday. Wagga Harness Racing Club hosted an Easter meeting on Sunday with a good crowd turning out for the nine-race card. Dennis Day made the three-hour trip from Goulburn and it proved worthwhile as Harry Day justified his short price with a strong win in the $10,000 Kevin & Kay Seymour Evolution Series 3YO Colts and Geldings Heat (1755m). Harry Day ($1.80) worked early but still had enough in reserve to hold off Run Business Run ($6.70) by five metres. $3.70 chance Miracle Marcus was a further 10 metres back in third place. “I thought he would go pretty good,” Day said. “This track suited him, going forward, but he’s pretty versatile. “The final is in a fortnight at Menangle so we’ll see how we go there.” The win qualified Harry Day for the $20,000 Evolution Series Final (1609m) at Menangle on April 14, where he will meet horses from the other heats held at Dubbo, Penrith and Newcastle. Harry Day ran sixth in an Evolution Series Final at Menangle in February, beaten only seven metres.     +9      Wagga trots - April 1 Pictures by Les Smith Day hopes he can go closer this time. “We’ve sorted him out a bit,” he said. “He’s had a few little issues, only minor things, just a few little niggles but I’m happy with him at the moment.” Day used Harry Day out of the gate, but was unable to cross Mastablasta ($18.40) as they ran 29.4 seconds for the first quarter. After sitting outside the leader, Day worked to the front rounding the home turn and then held his rivals at bay to score in a slick mile rate of 1:57.3. “He was still strong on the line, which was good,” Day said. It was Harry Day’s fourth win from 12 career starts. Meantime, the Shane Hillier-trained Resounding ($5.20) took out the Terry Hinchcliffe Surveyors Easter Cup (2165m) at Wagga. Resounding gradually worked to the lead as $3.30 favourite Miss Gold Fortune broke as they came out from the gate. The four-year-old mare kicked strongly at the top of the straight to hold off the fast-finishing Our American Princess ($7.30) by a head. It was the second leg of a winning double for Mitchell Reese, who won earlier in the day on the Wayne Potter-trained Itsadanceoff ($1.70). Leeton trainer-driver Wayne Sullivan won the Rules Club Harness Breeders NSW Bonus Scheme 2YO Pace (1755m) with Cee Cee Ambro ($2.50). After running second on debut at Wagga last Tuesday, Cee Cee Ambro went one better on Sunday, outlasting Western Secret ($5.40) by a head. By Matt Malone Reprinted with permission of The Daily Advertiser

Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup winning reinsman Nathan Jack had little time to celebrate his harness racing victory on Easter Sunday. Soon after accepting trophies for the race victory with pacer Cruz Bromac, Jack made a rapid dash to Tooradin airfield, to board a light aircraft for the journey to the night race meeting at Echuca, where he had four race drives later in the program. It's doubtful a winning reinsman has soaked up a Warragul feature success in such a way before in the 60 stagings of the event. Jack had driven at the Bathurst Gold Crown meeting in regional New South Wales the night before, adding to a long, but successful weekend of racing and travel. Cruz Bromac bought up Warragul Pacing Bowl Cup win number two for trainer Dean Braun, who prepared Nike Franco to victory in 2016. Braun becomes only the fourth trainer in the long history of the race to have prepared multiple Cup winners, joining Bob Knight, Ted Demmler and Noel Alexander in an exclusive club. The exciting Falcon Seelster six-year-old Cruz Bromac has only had 25 starts, collecting 14 wins and five minor placings. Jack took Cruz Bromac to sit outside leader Rockstar Angel early in the race, and the front runners dominated the $30,000 race, with Cruz Bromac running a last half mile in 55 seconds to win by one and-a-half metres. Local Mister Wickham managed fourth spot after over racing, while Clancys Fobwatch finished behind that pacer. Across the five support races on Sunday, there were some popular local victories. My Forgotten Hero rewarded patient owner/breeder Georgie Coram and trainer/driver Simone Walker with a maiden win at start 21. The victory was the two-hundredth success for the Cranbourne Racecourse stabling complex. Yarra Glen horseman Ken Browne, a past graduate of the Gippsland Harness Training Centre, won the Eddie Evison Memorial Trotters Handicap with Chrisken Kiosk. Misty Cullen proved too strong in the Warragul Toyota Pace for owner/breeders Gordon and June Turner and trainer Gary Quinlan. There was even local success in the two pony events on Sunday. Gippsland's sole pony trotting driver, Jasmyn Fusinato, landed her first home town victory with Lily The Shark in the Pony Cup Prelude. The teenager then scored a victory in the later Warragul Pony Cup, which proved popular with the local crowd. Fusinato has now won three races in the pony trots, where youngsters from all across Victoria compete on a regular basis. Good weather conditions drew another large crowd to Logan Park for Sunday's meeting, and although horse numbers were down in races, a good day was had by those in attendance. Kyle Galley

The 2018 NSW Mini Trotting Championships at Tamworth Paceway on the weekend has been hailed as one the best instalments of the annual harness racing event after 130 young divers and 175 horses competed in it. Barry McColl, Harness Racing NSW youth development officer, said Tamworth had “done itself proud” in hosting the roving event for a second consecutive year. He said a decision on where the 2019 championships would be held was yet to be decided but he applauded the “family orientated” nature of the Tamworth event, with the Paceway turned into a tent city for the two-day happening and competitors also coming from Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand.      +17      Photos: Peter Hardin The championships started in 1982 with 10 horses, he added.  Joanne Shepherd, promotions and facilities manager at Tamworth Paceway, said it was one of the biggest events visitor wise at the Paceway since Harness Racing NSW purchased the venue in April last year. She said: “We had quite a lot of spectators, which was good. Hopefully that will encourage the young kids. All the kids represented themselves so well as far as sportsmanship and helping each other went … It was a really good kids event.” The winner of the midget final was Mason Beresford, driving Pay The Aces, with Isabella Cassar (Chase Em Ace) second and Sam Haslem (Fire Storm) third. The winner of the Shetland final was  Kyle Wahlstram (The Dark Horse), with Jayla Beresford (Nidya) second and Keeley Cunningham (This Is Larry) third.  The pony final was won by Harry McNamara (Cariadus Material Girl), followed by Phoebe Betts (Golden Studleigh) and Michaela Locke (Eddie Allstar). Reprinted with permission of The Northern Daily Leader

He started the Gold Crown Carnival by driving to victory in the quickest mile rate ever seen at the Bathurst Paceway, but harness racing driver Todd McCarthy finished it in even better fashion. He finished it with a Group 2 Gold Chalice trophy. It was not the first time the Bathurst native had tasted success at Group level, but when Lifeonthebeach snatched victory in the three-year-old colts and geldings decider, it marked his first major Gold Crown Carnival win. “It’s a good one to get,” McCarthy said. Nine days earlier McCarthy had picked up victory in the second race of the carnival with Mista Lombo in a scorching 1:52.4 mile rate. Saturday night’s win with the gelding his father John McCarthy trains at Cobbitty was not quite as quick, but Lifeonthebeach’s 1:55.5 winning mile rate was only just outside the three-year-old record for the 2,260 metres trip. It was Bernie Hewitt’s Mackeral who set the pace early in the Gold Chalice final as he used his barrier one draw to advantage and took the lead. Mackeral had beaten Lifeonthebeach by a comfortable 13.1m in their heat earlier in the week, so McCarthy knew he had to be wary. On the bell McCarthy had his $17.80 chance in fifth – three back on the pegs – before peeling out of the trail following a hot 27.7 seconds third quarter. He came five wide down the home straight and grabbed victory by a head over War Dan ($20.40, Nathan Jack). It was the fifth win from 16 starts for Lifeonthebeach. Todd McCarthy’s older brother Luke claimed third aboard $2.60 favourite Code Bailey for Lemnos trainer Ross Pike. “We had a little bit of luck and the draw [barrier 10] panned out perfect for us,” McCarthy said. “Just being able to show him daylight at the top of the straight there, he’s got a great 200 metres and he found the line terrific. “Around the turn he was labouring a little bit and I wasn’t too sure how he was travelling, but he’s one that always gives you everything he’s got and he sure did that tonight.” By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Night One of the harness racing Easter Cup Carnival was run in extremely wet conditions in Launceston on Sunday where Isaac and Harjeet were easy winners of the heats of Tasmania’s richest race of the season. It’s is important to consider the heavy track conditions when assessing the form out of the meeting which included Im Compliant and Dasher Houli continuing their good form of late. It was also a strong day’s racing in Hobart last Friday afternoon where there was a couple of well-supported runners greeting the judge first. This Saturday night sees an outstanding 10-race program for the Launceston Pacing Club’s premier night which has been well supported by trainers and owners with full fields across the night. The Stars Mark Reggett – is having a month to remember with his small team and was rewarded with a weekend double with Do It For Dave in Hobart on Friday and Dasher Houli in Launceston on Sunday. Ricky Duggan – produced two copybook drives on Sunday evening including Isaac in the opening heat of the Easter Cup. Rohan Hillier – out of his last 43 starters as a trainer on the Launceston track alone in the last 12-months, only ten of his stable runners have missed a top-three finish. Hillier didn’t let his strike rate down with a training and driving double last Sunday. Todd Rattray – took driving honours on Sunday with a driving treble. In Launceston for the past 12-months Rattray drives a winner in every 3.9 drives. Multiple Winners Hobart – Friday Rohan Hadley– driving double; Shadow Ross and Sophias Angel Launceston – Sunday Todd Rattray– training and driving double with; Juniper and Harjeet. Driving treble with Dasher Houli. Ricky Duggan – driving double; Isaac and Jakes A Joy. Rohan Hillier – training and driving double; Im Compliant and Dufrense. Calculated Sectional Standouts Quickest last halves (800m) from last week’s action in Hobart on Friday. Washies Chance 57.83, Fortino 58.35, Paint The Wind 58.40, Karalta Demon 58.87, Shadow Ross and The Dip 58.61 View the sectionals across the eight-race program here. And in Launceston on Sunday. Im Compliant 58.34, Juniper 58.37, Usain Jolt 58.52, Isaac 58.74 and Followthewind 58.90. Click here to view all the sectionals from the meeting and when doing so consider the extremely heavy track conditions from the rain in the lead up to the meeting. Tasracing Official Price Hobart Hit: Do It For Dave $3.30 into $2.50 and Washies Chance $2.90 into $2.50 Defied The Drift: Shadow Ross $4.60 out to $6.00, Reason To Grin $3.30 out to $3.90 and Fortino $4.40 out to $5.00. Missed: Striker Jim (5th) $10 into $7.50 Launceston Hit: Jakes A Joy $8.00 into $6.50. Defied The Drift: Johns Legacy $71 out to $81, Isaac $8.50 out to $10 and Dasher Houli $3.90 out to $4.40. Missed: Queens Advocate $5.50 into $4.60 and El Jays Monza $17 into $13 Black Booker Buster William It was a tough night to assess the form going forward due to the track conditions but there was a lot to like about the run of Buster William. From barrier two on the second-row driver, Mark Yole kept driving forward to settle in the one-out one-back trail until the horse that was racing in front of him worked to the lead resulting in him racing outside the leader for the final mile. Working to the lead at the 700-metre mark Yole attempted to outsprint his rivals over the final 250 metres and was still in front till the final 10-metres when talented five-year-old Im Compliant put the nose in front to defeat Buster William for the second start in a row. I acknowledge Buster William is already the winner of six races from 24-starts but there is a win in him very shortly. Watch the replay of Sunday’s race here. Trial File Devonport on Monday Three trials were staged at the Devonport Showgrounds on Monday where the Shelley Barnes trained Mister Last recorded the quickest winning mile rate of the night in 2:03.7 when winning a combined two and three-year-old trial. Mister Last is a gelded son of Washington Vc and was driven by Paul Ashwood who scored by half a metre over Maybe Jack with 29.5-metres back to the third placegetter, Kaycee. The other two trials were won by Selling The Dream (2:08.3) and Chirac (2:06.0). Week Ahead The $75,000 Group 2 Easter Cup is the richest harness race in Tasmania for the 2017/18 season, and like always the cup has brought together an open and competitive field. Harjeet has opened up the short price favourite at $1.65 over the other heat winner Isaac at $5.50 with Star Chamber and Lets Elope on the next line in betting at $10. Stagger Lee, Mister Lennox and Queens Advocate round out those that are under the $20 quote. The 10-race program gets underway way at 18:22 on Saturday with Tasracing’s hosted live stream coverage  commencing at 17:55. Duncan Dornauf

As the former Parklands harness track plays host to athletes for the Commonwealth Games in its new guise this week, the plans for a replacement track at Yatala have been shelved. The proposal for a track and commercial centre in the growing heart of south-east Queensland have been withdrawn by the Yatala club, which has been frustrated in a two–year process. “The club has now been advised by RQ [Racing Queensland] the only way that Yatala would proceed is if the industry agree to the Albion Park disposal and that RQ own the Yatala facility when built,” club president Greg Mitchell said in an open letter to the industry. “That is right, RQ want the club to gift it the land so it can own the asset. In fairness the club can see none of these conditions attached to other racing infrastructure projects. This is totally unacceptable to the club as this was a development to future proof the harness industry in Queensland.” The Yatala club had been gifted the land, valued at $3 million, for the track and commercial zone by harness racing benefactor Kevin Seymour, but in two years no progress had been made on building a track. Since the Gold Coast track was closed Queensland has been left with only two TAB harness tracks in recent years: Albion Park and Redcliffe. “The club has invested a huge amount of time and money in this project in an endeavour to make it a reality, it has met all criteria along the way and has a significant non-core revenue stream of up to $8 million per annum attached to the submission that is in stark contrast to other racing infrastructure funding submissions,” Mitchell said in his letter. “There has been no appetite from the RQ chairman Steve Wilson or the board to engage and make the project work and you would have to start to ask yourself with the latest paltry prizemoney distribution of $400K to harness racing and the complete lack of vigour from this board, does it really want harness racing to survive?” By Chris Roots Reprinted with permission of The Sydney Morning Herald

Echuca Harness Racing Club will hold its Easter meeting on Sunday. Echuca Harness Racing Club secretary Hope Gamble said the event was one of its most exciting on the calendar. “Our 2018 Echuca Easter Sunday Race Meeting is one of the highlights of our racing calendar, offering a relaxing way to explore our historic town and to enjoy country racing,” Gamble said. With visitors coming into the region for the Easter long weekend, the club hopes to see a lot of new faces joining the local crowds for the event. “We hope Echuca residents and holidaymakers can join us on Easter Sunday to celebrate the holiday, enjoy some quality racing and entertainment, all within the beautiful surrounds of the Murray River.” The event has been improved this season with a $14,000 package of funding. With $8000 of funding from the club, $6000 has been contributed by the State Government. Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp said the government was proud to support the race meeting for the second year running. ‘‘It helps draw tourists to the region and support local jobs,” he said. ‘‘The Easter break provides holidaymakers and the community with an excellent opportunity to experience country harness racing in a relaxed, family-friendly environment.” Reprinted with permission of The Riverine Herald

It is easy to understand why premier harness racing trainer Emma Stewart has a high opinion of Centenario. Not only is the two-year-old unbeaten from three starts, he has won in impressive fashion, including at Tabcorp Park Melton tonight. After racing in the ‘death seat’, Centenario staved off a late challenge to capture the Shakamaker Classic, much to Stewart’s delight. “He’s a very nice colt,” Stewart said. “We’ve been more than happy with everything he has done so far.” With Chris Alford in the cart, Centenario was caught outside his stablemate, Fourbigmen, which led from barrier three. Forging his way to the front at the top of the home straight, the son of American Ideal dug deep to score by a head from Major Exclusive, with Fourbigmen 11 metres away third. Owned by a large syndicate, Centenario rated 1:56.3 over 1720 metres. “He sat in the breeze at his last start too when he won well and he showed he can’t keep finding tonight,” Stewart said. “He’s also won leading and can come off the speed…there is plenty of upside to him.” An Australian Pacing Gold purchase – as are the placegetters – Centenario will be aimed at the rich APG race series. The series starts with heats at Pinjarra on Monday, followed by Albion Park and Menangle on April 10 and Melton on April 13. Should all go according to plan, Centenario will then contest the $350,000 Final at Melton on May 5. APG Media

The Lagoon harness racing trainer Ben Settree knows it would take a minor miracle for Aphorism to win Saturday night’s Gold Chalice final for him, but he will still head to the Bathurst Paceway as a man with hope. Aside from having Aphorism in action in the Group 2 decider for three-year-old colts and geldings, Settree will have a link to a host of other runners in action on the last night of the 2018 Gold Crown Carnival. He and his wife Melanie, plus her parents Doug and Janet Moore from the Brooklyn Lodge stud will be amongst the breeders hoping for success at the Bathurst Paceway. “Twenty runners across the two and three-year-old races were born and raised at Brooklyn Lodge,” Settree said. “It’s a real testament to Brooklyn Lodge’s ability to raise quality horses.” A three-year-old Well Said x Mes To Tsepi gelding, Aphorism was lucky to sneak into the Gold Chalice final after placing fourth in his heat on Monday. That was his first run since saluting at Bathurst on February 21. Given his preparation for the carnival was less than ideal, Settree was delighted to see him qualify. But after drawing barrier 12, the trainer knows he will need a lot of luck once more to feature. “It’s a big thrill, he’s a nice horse. He had a little virus about four weeks back, so he missed a lot of runs and he was always going to be a little bit vulnerable in the heats, but he’s trained on terrific since Monday,” he said. “He’s a handy horse, there’s no question, it’s just a shame we had that little setback a month or so back which cost us a couple of runs as he’s a horse that needs hard racing to maintain fitness.  “We knew we were behind the eight-ball going into the heats, and drawing 12 didn’t make it any easier.” The horse which won the 2,260 metres Gold Chalice heat Aphorism contested – Bernie Hewitt’s Mackeral – is the runner Settree is tipping to prevail on Saturday night. He will go from barrier one and as of Friday afternoon, held $2.25 favouritism. “Mackeral is going to be terribly hard to beat from that draw, he’ll probably find the front and be hard to run down, but look, we’re just looking for an improved performance,” Settree said. “Bernie’s in for a big night, he’s going to have the favourite in the Gold Crown too, he could possibly win three or four races on finals night which is a hell of an achievement.  “It would give me great pleasure to see Bernie and his owners win the Gold Crown, his family work ridiculously hard in harness racing and it would be nice to see them get a just reward for the amount they put into it.” By Anya Whitelaw Reprinted with permission of The Western Advocate

Tasracing has developed a buy and sell Facebook page that is designed to secure names of people who are interested in buying into the concept. The Facebook buy and sell group is aimed at promoting the growth of trotting racing in Tasmania.  To join the buy and sell group, visit the Facebook page here: Tasmanian Trotters Buy and Sell. Tasracing will assist in promoting interstate sales and will regularly post opportunities to purchase horses from around the country and any approved user can post a runner for sale. Trotting trials have been programmed to start in Tasmania in early May with the first race scheduled for July 2018. Tasracing’s implementation plan will see the first trial on May 5 with the first race scheduled for July 1 2018, with the export of the trotting product already locked in to be distributed to international jurisdictions. For more information on Trotting in Tasmania, including the cycle of races and prize money schedule visit the Tasracing Trotting in Tasmania page.  

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to charges issued by HRV Stewards against licensed trainer-driver Brett Cox. Mr Cox was issued with two charges under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 241, which reads as follows: A person shall not in connection with any part of the harness racing industry do anything which is fraudulent or corrupt. The particulars of these charges were that Mr Cox acted fraudulently in relation to receiving payment for the training of the standardbred horses ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ between February and April 2017, when these horses were spelling and not being prepared for racing at the relevant time. Mr Cox also acted fraudulently in advising the owners in August 2017 that these horses were present at his registered training establishment when they had been removed. In addition to the above charges, Mr Cox was also issued with a charge under AHRR 243, which reads as follows:  A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry The particulars of this charge were that Mr Cox provided false information to licensed trainer-driver Kate Attard which lead to ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ being given away in July 2017 without the consent of the owners and the horses ultimately being destroyed. Mr Cox was also issued with two charges under AHRR 187(2), which reads as follows: A person shall not refuse to answer questions or to produce a horse, document, substance or piece of equipment, or give false or misleading evidence or information at an inquiry of investigation. The particulars of these charges were that Mr Cox, in an interview with HRV Stewards on 22 November 2017, gave false and misleading information in relation to an investigation being conducted by HRV Stewards into this matter. Mr Cox was also issued two charges under AHRR 96A(3), which reads as follows: Where a registered horse has been retired from racing or a decision has been made to not race the horse, the owner or trainer of the horse at the time of its retirement must, within one month of the horse’s retirement, notify the Registrar by lodging the relevant form prescribed by the Registrar. The particulars of these charges were that Mr Cox failed to notify HRV that ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ had been retired from racing and did not lodge the relevant form with the HRV Registrar.   Mr Cox pleaded guilty to all charges. In respect of the charges pursuant to AHRR 241 and 243, Mr Cox was disqualified for a period of 3 years, which is effective immediately. In respect of the charges pursuant to AHRR 187(2) and 96A(3), Mr Cox was issued a fine of $750 for each breach, resulting in a penalty of $3000 in total. In determining penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the serious consequences which resulted from the conduct of Mr Cox, the importance of animal welfare and the need for specific and general deterrence to protect the harness racing industry.  In addition, the HRV RAD Board took into account Mr Cox’s guilty plea and his regret in relation to the matter. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Nicholas Rolfe. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board       

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 241 against Angela Gilbert (unlicensed participant). AHRR 241 reads as follows: A person shall not in connection with any part of the harness racing industry do anything which is fraudulent or corrupt. The charge under AHRR 241 issued by HRV Stewards against Ms Gilbert related to the movement and rehoming of standardbred horses in July 2017.  Acting on information from an industry participant that two standardbred horses were available to be rehomed, Ms Gilbert attended a registered harness racing property of the industry participant in Victoria where she collected the standardbred horses. The horses were given to Ms Gilbert for free and she advised the industry participant that these horses would re-educated and rehomed.  Ms Gilbert initially advised HRV Stewards that the horses were re-educated and rehomed, but later confirmed that she had in fact sold the horses to the Echuca Horse Sales, from where they were purchased by an abattoir and destroyed shortly thereafter.  At the hearing the HRV RAD Board determined that Ms Gilbert, despite being an unlicensed person and not being a registered owner, was carrying on activities that related to the harness racing industry and therefore was bound by the rules because of the operation of AHRR 299. AHRR 299 reads as follows: All persons (a) licensed under these rules; (b) carrying on or purporting to carry on activities related to the harness racing industry; or (c) who in some other way are affected by the rules; are deemed to have knowledge of and be bound by them and of all the things done under them. Ms Gilbert did not appear at the hearing. The HRV RAD Board considered submissions from HRV Stewards relating to recent communication with Ms Gilbert and notification of the charge and hearing date and determined to proceed in her absence under Victoria Local Rule 50(1)(a). The HRV RAD Board, after hearing evidence from HRV Stewards and after taking into consideration all relevant material including interviews, statements and exhibits, found Ms Gilbert guilty of the charge issued under AHRR 241. After considering submissions from the HRV Stewards in relation to the importance of animal welfare, specific and general deterrence and the need to protect the harness racing industry, the HRV RAD Board imposed a disqualification period of 18 months against Ms Gilbert, which is effective immediately. Ms Gilbert was also fined $810, which equates to the amount that was earned in selling the standardbred horses to the Echuca Horse Sales. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Nicholas Rolfe. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board 

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today heard a matter in regards to a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 243 against licensed trainer-driver Kate Attard. AHRR 243 reads as follows: A person employed, engaged or participating in the harness racing industry shall not behave in a way which is prejudicial or detrimental to the industry. The particulars of the charge were that Ms Attard permitted the standardbred horses ‘Lis Mara Shadow’ and ‘Life Sign Shadow’ to be given away for rehoming in July 2017, without notifying the owners and without their consent, which led to the horses ultimately being destroyed. Ms Attard pleaded guilty to the charge. The HRV RAD Board fined Ms Attard $5000, of which $2500 was suspended for a period of 2 years. In determining penalty, the HRV RAD Board considered the serious consequences which resulted from the conduct of Ms Attard, the importance of animal welfare and the need for specific and general deterrence to protect the harness racing industry. In addition, the HRV RAD Board took into account Ms Attard’s guilty plea and the mitigating circumstances in relation to her involvement in the matter. The HRV RAD Board was also mindful of Ms Attard’s cooperation throughout the investigation, her good record and her positive standing in the harness racing industry. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), Hugh Millar, Nicholas Rolfe. Harness Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board     

Racing at Kalgoorlie’s historic Golden Mile Trotting Club could end beyond 2018, with Racing and Wagering WA confirming it will not allocate meetings to the 114-year-old club after the upcoming season. Following an extensive consultation process with the WA harness industry and a review, the State’s governing body revealed the GMTC would not be given meetings after the year’s end. RWWA chief executive Richard Burt admitted the decision was difficult, but said it was necessary for the longevity of WA’s harness industry. “As great as Kalgoorlie-Boulder is, it doesn’t have a local population of trainers to sustain racing,” he said. “They rely heavily on the travellers, not just Perth but also the rural areas around the South West. Trainer-driver Aldo Cortopassi at the Golden Mile Trotting Club on December 15.Picture: Kalgoorlie Miner “I have to say, the people who have run the club have done a really good job getting people up here. “The club needs to be commended for their efforts. But the problem is, there aren’t enough people to put on the races.” The final meeting of the GMTC season on December 15 last year did not feature a race with more than eight starters, while three fields included only six entrants, across the seven-race program. Out-of-town trainers Matt Saw, of Pinjarra, and Aldo Cortopassi, whose stable is based at Darling Downs near Perth, played influential roles in maintaining field numbers cross the 2017 season. Neale Harvey and Zach Relph | Kalgoorlie Miner Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

Harness racing: The Marburg trots will hit a major milestone on the weekend at their annual Easter Sunday meet. The 2018 event will mark the first time the club has hosted a TAB race meeting in conjunction with Racing Queensland, UBet and Sky Channel. Marburg Pacing Association president Scott Neaves said there was plenty of excitement heading into the weekend. "It's a real opportunity for us to showcase what we have to offer in terms of country racing and to demonstrate to Racing Queensland the value of country racing,” Neaves said. "At the moment we race about once a month; hopefully by doing a good job we can encourage some additional funding (to have more regular meets).” Neaves said the action on the track was guaranteed to be fierce, with $25,000 on the line in the final of the Oakwood Capital Goldstrike Series. "One of the biggest things about Marburg is it's a track where you can be really close to the action,” he said. "It's an opportunity to get close to the horses, enough to essentially feel the ground move. "We always get a good crowd of local friendly people. It's just a very friendly country racing environment.” Gates open at 11am on Sunday, races kick off at midday and the day will also include Fashions on the Field, kids' entertainment, a special appearance from the Easter Bunny and plenty more. by Lachlan Mcivor Reprinted with permission of The Gatton Star

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