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Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) will advertise for new General Manager of Racing following the resignation of Glen Canty for personal reasons.   HRV CEO David Martin said that HRV has granted Mr Canty’s request that he finish at HRV on Tuesday July 10.   “Glen joined us in July last year and has made a significant impact across the organisation,” Mr Martin said.   “His guidance, counsel and approach to such an integral position will be missed. We understand Glen’s reasons and wish him well in the future.”   HRV will begin an extensive search for a new GM of Racing in coming days.      

Prizemoney for restricted races in Victoria will increase from $3,500 to $4,000 in the new racing season (commencing September 1), Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) announced today.   The increase was made possible after Harness Racing Australia backed a HRV suggestion to lift the base rate for R-class races, enabling state bodies to bolster support for grassroots participants.   “This change means more money in the pockets of people in our industry who really need it,” HRV CEO David Martin said.   “Feedback has been for a long time that participants want these Restricted class races, but that the stakemoney was too low.   This action, combined with an increase in the number of $4,000 R-class races programmed in Victoria next season, will mean greater opportunities for horses without incurring a Country - front penalty.”   In addition to the increased stakemoney for R-class races, HRV has updated the stakemoney distribution for $4,000 R-class races as outlined in the table below.   HRV also announced that all Victorian $4,000 R-class races and all Victorian $5,000 C-class races in September and October will carry a $500 bonus for the race winner.   The Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association welcomed the increase in R-class stakemoney by HRV.   “The VTDA are pleased that HRV is listening and has increased stakemoney for Restricted class races. This will be welcomed by many trainers and drivers,” VTDA President Lance Justice said.   $4,000 R-Class Stakemoney distribution will be:   Placing      Prizemoney      Increase 1st             $2,000              $250 2nd            $600                 $110 3rd             $400                 $80 4th             $220                 $30 5th             $130                 $5 6th             $130                 $5 7th             $130                 $5 8th             $130                 $5 9th             $130                 $5 10th           $130                 $5 Total          $4,000               $500     Cody Winnell

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer Gary Quinlan under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. It is alleged that Mr Quinlan presented ‘Most Happy Cullen’ to race at Cranbourne on 19 April 2018 when not free of arsenic, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have concluded an inquiry into a report received from Racing Analytical Services Laboratory (RASL) that Graceful Art returned an elevated plasma total carbon dioxide (TC02) reading in a pre-race blood sample taken from the gelding prior to it competing in Race 7 at the Mildura meeting conducted on 14 March 2018. Peter O’Brien, trainer of Graceful Art, was interviewed by HRV Stewards on 26 March 2018 concerning the husbandry practices adopted leading into the gelding’s engagement at Mildura on 14 March 2018.   Mr O’Brien provided further evidence to the inquiry in relation to the husbandry practices he adopted and a report from HRV Senior Veterinarian Dr Julia Aspinall concerning the product ‘Neutrolene Plus’ was considered. After consideration of all the evidence Mr O’Brien was found guilty of a charge under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 196C(1)(b) which states: 196C.  (1)   A person must not administer an alkalinising agent in any manner to a horse which is engaged to run in a race: (b)  at any time within one (1) clear day of the commencement of the race. The particulars of the charge being: On 13 March 2018 when the trainer of Graceful Art he administered ‘Neutrolene Plus’, a product containing alkalinising agents, to that horse within one clear day of Graceful Art competing in Race 7 at the Mildura meeting conducted on 14 March 2018. In assessing penalty Stewards took into account: Mr O’Brien’s not guilty plea and prior offence record; Any penalty imposed must demonstrate the importance of only administering substances within the permitted timeframe determined by the AHRR; Mr O’Brien’s personal and financial circumstances; The administration occurred within one clear day of the race as opposed to raceday. Stewards accordingly imposed a fine of $3,000. After hearing submissions from Mr O’Brien and Ms Cassandra O’Brien, managing owner of Graceful Art, Stewards ordered under the provisions of AHRR 258(1) that Graceful Art be disqualified from its 5th placing in Race 7 at Mildura on 14 March 2018 and the placings were amended accordingly.   Harness Racing Victoria (HRV)  

The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board today (28th June) considered a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) against licensed trainer-driver Craig Turnbull. AHRR 190(1) reads as follows: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. The charge under AHRR 190(1) issued by HRV Stewards against Mr Turnbull related to a urine sample taken from the horse ‘The Russian’ at the Kyabram trial meeting on 24 September 2017. The definition of a ‘race’ within the AHRR includes an official trial. Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) reported that the analysis of the urine sample revealed it to contain the prohibited substance frusemide. The Australian Racing Forensic Laboratory (ARFL) in NSW confirmed these findings in the reserve portion of the relevant sample. Mr Turnbull pleaded guilty to the charge before submissions on penalty were presented. In deciding an appropriate penalty, the HRV RAD Board highlighted Mr Turnbull’s cooperation throughout the investigation and guilty plea at the earliest opportunity, along with his good record over a long period in the industry. The HRV RAD Board also highlighted the purpose of the rules in relation to prohibited substances and the dangers associated with horses competing with these substances in their system. Mr Turnbull was subsequently fined $3000, of which $1500 was suspended for a period of 12 months. HRV RAD Board Panel: Alanna Duffy (Chair), John Kearney

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has announced an increase in benefits under the state-wide Sulky Fund, commencing from July 1, 2018.   The Sulky Fund (setup in 2005) reimburses trainers for damages to a sulky as a result of an incident in Victorian races and official trials where a steward is present.   The changes to the Sulky Fund are:  Maximum benefit for damage to a sulky has increased to $3,000 (from $1,600).  Sulky wheels will now be covered up to maximum of $1,000 per wheel when damaged during official races (a $250 excess applies for all wheel claims).   The Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association welcomed the announcement.   “The Association and HRV are very mindful of not only the professionals in the industry but the large number of small, part-time trainers who are the backbone of the industry and we’re certainly welcoming of these changes,” VTDA vice president John Hallam said.   HRV General Manager – Finance Luke Spano said today’s announcement was designed to assist participants.   “HRV understands how important it is to do all we can for our valued participants within our own financial means, and extending the Sulky Fund at no additional cost to participants will absolutely assist,” Mr Spano said.   “This follows on from HRV’s previous announcements regarding the Industry Assistance Program and the earlier release of stakemoney payments to participants for the majority of races. We are committed to improving the lives of industry participants and this is another action we are taking towards that goal.”   HRV was also able to negotiate with its underwriters to extend the personal accident insurance coverage provided to drivers and trainers to include the volunteer stablehands at no additional cost to HRV or participants. Volunteer stablehands are no longer required to contribute $95 to purchase separate insurance cover. Personal accident insurance provides coverage to licenced trainers, drivers and voluntary stablehands of the Victorian harness racing industry, including pony trot participants, voluntary workers, monte race riders, New Zealand licenced visitors and all other licenced visitors in certain circumstances.   A flyer which provides further information on coverage for non-Medicare medical costs, capital benefits, harness and non-harness racing income and additional expenses is attached and can be viewed here.   Participants should read the PDS to ensure that the cover provided by the personal accident policy is appropriate for their circumstances.   For queries regarding HRV’s personal accident policy please contact Jamie Taylor from JLT Sport on (03)96131415.   CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER  

Victorian foal registration fees for 2018-19   Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has today issued the 2018-19 Victorian foal registration fees.   As previously advised, HRV will waive fees for Victorian-bred foals (from a Victorian mare and a Victorian standing stallion) between July 1 2018 and 30 June 2019.   This move is a one-off stimulus, designed to support local breeding and has been made possible by the Victorian Andrews Government’s $1 million funding commitment announced in the recent budget.   “We’ve listened to feedback from the industry and are taking action to reduce costs for breeders,” HRV General Manager Racing Glen Canty said.   “Today demonstrates the commitment HRV made to assist the local breeding industry and we have worked very closely with Harness Breeders Victoria and its president Terry Lewis to arrive at this outcome.”   Mr Lewis said HBV welcomed the waiving of foal registration fees for Victorian-bred horses.   “For some time HBV has been calling for the removal of foal registration fees for Vicbred foals and we welcome this announcement for Vicbred eligible foals born in the 2018-19 year,” Mr Lewis said.   “The removal of the foal registration fee will make the Vicbred scheme more appealing and assist to reduce some costs for breeders.”     Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria today announced prizemoney for the 2018 Inter Dominion (ID) series of races.   For pacers, the prizemoney will be distributed across three rounds of three heats ($30,000 per heat), a $50,000 Consolation Final and a $500,000 Group 1 Grand Final, while for trotters there will be three rounds of two trotting heats ($20,000 a heat) and a $150,000 Group 1 Grand Final.   Harness Racing New South Wales and Harness Racing New Zealand confirmed the same prizemoney for Inter Dominion finals over the following two years.   The ID hosts acknowledged the importance of maintaining the Inter Dominion’s position as Australasia’s premier harness racing series, while also committing to a financially sustainable model that ensures its survival.   Speaking on behalf of the ID hosts, HRV CEO David Martin said: “By working together we have ensured the future for the Inter Dominion series at a level that the three jurisdictions can afford.   “The Inter Dominion brand and tradition is an essential part of the Australasian harness racing industry. Our collaboration means we can all continue to celebrate our champions and feature their battles to hold the illustrious title of Inter Dominion champion.   “From the first night of heats this year on 1 December through to the final on 15 December, HRV will deliver an event that re-engages past trots-lovers and attracts new fans to our international sport.”   For the first time in 10 years Victoria will host the Inter Dominion, with both trotters and pacers being featured.   Cody Winnell 

On 18 June 2018, the Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board considered a charge issued by HRV Stewards under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 267(1) against Mr Kieran O’Keeffe. AHRR 267(1) reads as follows: Subject to sub-rule (2) the Stewards may for such period and on such conditions as they think fit, disqualify a person who is found guilty of a crime or an offence in any State or Territory of Australia or in any country. The matter was heard by the HRV RAD Board upon the referral by the Controlling Body, following a recommendation by the HRV Stewards. The charge relates to Mr O’Keeffe being convicted on appeal in the County Court at Geelong on 10 April 2018, of two charges which related to Mr O’Keeffe’s driving of a motor car in October 2017. Mr O’Keeffe pleaded guilty to the charge prior to the HRV RAD Board hearing submissions on penalty from HRV Stewards and Mr O’Keeffe. When assessing penalty the HRV RAD Board took into account Mr O’Keeffe’s guilty plea, his cooperation, his remorse, his age and the circumstances of the offence. Mr O’Keeffe was disqualified for a period of 10 days with the HRV RAD Board ordering that the period of disqualification be back dated to 27 November 2017.  HRV RAD Board Panel: John Doherty (Chair), John Kearney, John Denahy   Harnesslink Media  

Harness Racing Victoria’s Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au will deliver extended coverage of the 2018 Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series (VSS18) first round of heats tonight and tomorrow night from Bendigo and Kilmore. Tonight’s coverage will feature live streaming of all races from Bendigo, including the two-year-old pacing Empire Stallions VSS18 races at thetrots.com.au, with caller Lachie McIntosh’s pre-race thoughts, followed by post-race interviews by Bendigo’s Kirsten Graham. AFL star Josh Jenkins will also be on track and part of the coverage. Tomorrow night Dan Mielicki will be the voice of the thetrots.com.au from Kilmore for the three-year-old Empire Stallions VSS18 pacing races, with Trots Media’s Cody Winnell track side for the live streamed post-race interviews. RSN and HRV have also teamed to deliver RSN listeners exclusive Good Form late-mail thoughts in the lead-up to all Empire Stallions VSS18 heats tonight and tomorrow, with Blake Redden and Jason Bonnington on hand with their thoughts eight minutes prior to each race. All the action can also be viewed on Sky Racing 1, channel 526 on Foxtel. Don’t miss any of the action, live and free, at thetrots.com.au and join the social media discussion on all platforms using the hashtag #VSS18 CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA 

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) today officially announced the return of the time-honoured Inter Dominion (ID) Trotting Championship.   The ID Trotting Championship was placed in a period of hiatus after the win of I Can Doosit at Tabcorp Park Melton in 2012, no longer forming part of the annual Inter Dominion carnival in following years in New South Wales and Western Australia.   However, the recent decision by Harness Racing Australia (HRA) to rescind a previous motion “preventing the use of the term and conduct of the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship” paved the way for the current Inter Dominion hosts – HRV, Harness Racing New South Wales (HRNSW) and Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) – to reinstate the ID Trotting Championship.   “It is a wonderful outcome for the trotting gait, to have the Trotting Inter Dominion reinistated alongside the pacers’ Inter Dominion,” HRV CEO David Martin said.   “There has been significant growth in trotting in recent years and the 2018 Australasian Premier Trotting Sale produced strong results.   “The Inter Dominion Trotting Championship has a rich history and has been won by some famous horses, including Sundons Gift, who went back-to-back at Moonee Valley in 2009 and 2010, Lyell Creek, Pride Of Petite, True Roman and Scotch Notch.   “We’re proud to announce the Inter Dominion Trotting Championship will feature as a key part of our ID18 line-up of races and we look forward to hosting the best trotters in Australasia as they target this illustrious series.”     Victorian Square Trotters Association (VSTA) President Nick Youngson celebrated the decision.   “The promotion of the squaregaiter through the Inter Dominion series has always been enormously important and the VSTA wishes to thank HRA and the Inter Dominion hosts HRV, HRNSW and HRNZ for this action,” Mr Youngson said.   “We can’t wait to see the best trotters vying it out for the Inter Dominion trophy at Ballarat, Cranbourne and Tabcorp Park Melton later this year.”     CODY WINNELL MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER HARNESS RACING VICTORIA

HRV was saddened to learn of the passing of Jack Munnerley. Mr Munnerley was a highly respected man in the harness racing industry as a breeder and owner, racing horses with his late wife Nola. Mr Munnerley enjoyed success with Nolarama for John and Maree Caldow, as well as Johnorama and La Machane with the Sugars family. A funeral for Mr Munnerley will be held on Tuesday (tomorrow, 19 June, 10am) at La Pines in Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley. HRV extends sincere condolences to Mr Munnerley's family.   Harness Racing Victoria  

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer-driver Anthony Adams under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states: A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances. It is alleged that Mr Adams presented ‘Lifeplusten’ to race at Mildura on 28 December 2017 when not free of arsenic, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. HRV Stewards also issued a further charge under AHRR 119C in relation to the stabling location of ‘Lifeplusten’ and ‘Mister Magic Man’ during the relevant time. The charges will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.   Harness Racing Victoria

Tabcorp and Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) have today announced an extension to their longstanding partnership. The agreement secures Tabcorp’s wagering arm, TAB, as HRV’s exclusive wagering partner until the end of the current Joint Venture. The partnership extends to all 28 Victorian harness racing clubs conducting TAB meetings. TAB will feature prominently at tracks across the state and online with exclusive signage and digital rights. In addition to this TAB partnership, Sky Racing continues to hold HRV broadcasting rights for all HRV races. Tabcorp Managing Director Wagering and Media Adam Rytenskild said Tabcorp was a proud longstanding supporter of harness racing in Victoria “We’re delighted to renew our partnership with HRV. We are proud to put our name to some of harness racing’s most exciting events including the TAB Summer of Glory, TAB Breeders Crown and the TAB Redwood Rattler,” Mr Rytenskild said. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners at HRV.” As part of new arrangements, HRV will now be able to showcase coverage of Victorian harness races at thetrots.com.au. HRV CEO David Martin said today’s announcement reaffirmed the ongoing strong relationship between Tabcorp and the Victorian harness racing industry. “Tabcorp and HRV have been long term partners and this multi-year agreement will generate significant benefits for a broad group of stakeholders,” Mr Martin said. “In particular the launch of HRV’s new Trots Vision at thetrots.com.au, which will stream all HRV races, will be warmly welcomed by punters, participants and anyone who loves the trots.”   Trots Media

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued two charges against licensed trainer Graeme Mengler under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states:     A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances It is alleged that the horse ‘Heza Reddy’ was presented to race at Mildura on 28 November 2017 by Mr Mengler not free of cobalt, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. It is further alleged that the horse ‘Heza Reddy’ was presented to race at Mildura on 28 December 2017 by Mr Mengler not free of cobalt, a prohibited substance when evidenced at a concentration above the allowable threshold. HRV Stewards have also issued a charge under AHRR 190B, alleging that Mr Mengler failed to keep and maintain a log book. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.   Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Stewards have issued a charge against licensed trainer-driver Craig Turnbull under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190(1) which states:     A horse shall be presented for a race free of prohibited substances The AHRR defines "Race" as a race or official trial or official time trial or event in which harness racing horses race or participate. It is alleged that Mr Turnbull presented ‘The Russian’ to race at the Kyabram trial meeting on 24 September 2017 when not free of the prohibited substance frusemide. The charge will be heard by the HRV Racing Appeals and Disciplinary (RAD) Board on a date to be fixed.   Harness Racing Victoria

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