Harness Industry Forum Meeting Number 12 – Summary

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Held at Somercotes, Ross on Friday 7 March 2014

Please Note: This summary is a draft subject to approval at the next Harness Industry Forum meeting in June 2014. 

PRESENT:         Dr Eliot Forbes (Tasracing) – Chairman
                             Chester Bullock (NTLHA)
                             Stephen Devereux (TPC)
                             Tony Jeffries (CPPC, NWTLHA, SMPC)
                             Mike Jones (LHT)
                             Kevin Neilson (Tasracing)
                             David Rawlings (BHRC)
                             David Sales (BOTRA)
                             Phillip Young (NNPC)

Apologies were received for Rod Burgess (NWTLHA), David Hayes (BOTRA), Trevor Leis (Tasracing), Claire MacDonald (DHRC), David Manshanden (Tasracing), Mike Stiles (RST) and  Joel Wallace (LPC),

Sires Stakes Acceptors
Members discussed the information presented being acceptors for the 2YO and 3YO Sires Stakes series. Comments included the 4YO figures could have been included and it is important that horses bred interstate are provided with racing opportunities when Sires Stakes series are conducted.

Race Programs – May 2014 to July 2014
Draft race programs were sent to clubs and affiliated bodies on 24 January 2014.

Feedback on the draft race programs was provided by the NWTLHA, BOTRA and RST. Comments were received from the NWTLHA on barrier draws for 3C0/3C1/C0 races and a lack of C0 only races.

Some minor changes were made to the draft distributed on 24 January 2014 and discussed at the HIF meeting. Following discussion at the meeting, another minor change was made to the barrier draw rotation for 3C0/3C1/C0 races being another PBD/3C was added to the rotation. Also, members resolved to include a monthly C2/C5 mare’s race.

A member stated that, in future years, a clash between the Easter Cup and Raider Stakes must be avoided.

Allen Williams Memorial
Members recommended:

  • Another annual series for non-winners, similar to the Allen Williams Memorial, is scheduled.
  • The stake money for all heats of the Allen Williams Memorial should be the same and $6,000 was the suggested amount.

R Penalty Handicapping – Interim Policy
Members endorsed the policy and resolved that $3,000 races should not be programmed but $3,000 races are appropriate when a scheduled race is divided or when it is a race for ballots.

Licence Requirements 2014/15 
Discussion points included:

  • The merits and issues surrounding a junior stable hand licence.
  • The number of references required.
  • The cost of a national police check.
  • The HarnessSchool versus national accreditation training.

Dr Forbes stated the safety requirements information is a draft which, in some fashion, will be attached to licensing conditions.

Members were requested to provide comments on 2014/15 licensing requirements before 28 March.

HRA Breeding Incentive Agreement

Members indicated support for the proposal that a Tasbred Owners Breeding Incentive (TOBI) be introduced. The details were:

  • A TOBI of $1,000 be made available for the owner/s of any Tasbred winner aged four year old or older. A maximum of one TOBI applies to any individual horse each racing season. The TOBI can only be used by the owner/s for service fees for mares owned or part owned by the owner/s of the Tasbred that the TOBI is credited to.
  • In the case of four year old or older Tasbred mares that win a race during a racing season, the owner has two options. The first is detailed above where the owner uses the TOBI. The second is for the owner not to use the TOBI but transfer it with the mare if the mare is sold or leased for breeding purposes.


Comments included:

  • A sires stakes finals meeting incorporating 2YO, 3YO and 4YO Tasbred races should be considered.
  • Owner and breeder terminology should be clarified.

Members were requested to provide comments on the proposal by 4 April 2014.

Code Allocation Review
Members discussed the information presented. Comments included:

  • There are many factors that need to be considered when the review is undertaken.
  • A fixed annual amount may be appropriate.
  • Wagering should be evaluated at each harness venue.
  • Stakeholders should be advised of the details of the process undertaken to arrive at the model for FY15 and beyond.

Dr Forbes stated feedback is required by 17 April 2014 after which there will be further consultation with stakeholders.

Corporate Plan
Dr Forbes stated the plan must be updated annually but no wide ranging changes were being considered for the core goals of the plan.

Feedback is invited before 28 March 2014.

Harness Wagering Performance
Members noted the 25% increase in harness wagering turnover for January 2014 compared to January 2013 and the year to date performance of the code.

Harness Hall Of Fame Dinner
Kevin Neilson advised members the inaugural Hall of Fame dinner will be held at the Tailrace Centre, Launceston on Saturday 31 May 2014

Harness Insurance Seminars           
Members were advised that harness insurance seminars will be held in Hobart on 26 March 2014 and Deloraine on 27 March 2014.

Two Year Old Racing 2014 – Tasmania
Kevin Neilson summarised the positive start for two year old racing in 2014. Discussion points that followed included:

  • Funding for the 2014 Big Park Stud Sweepstakes series.
  • Funding for two year old races that are extended and the number of acceptors increases to six or more.

The $10,000 Crystal Stakes (DHRC) has been rescheduled to 27 April 2014.

HRA – Two Year Old Racing
Members discussed the report which concluded that there is no evidence to suggest that racing as a two year old has any deleterious effect on a standardbred’s career.


Mini Trots – 2013/14
Kevin Neilson stated support for pony trots continues to grow with 12 individuals participating during the season.

Members discussed insurance for the pony trots participants.

Safety and Welfare – Children in Stables
Members discussed the possibility of children under 14 being licensed to allow entry to the stabling area.

Dr Forbes reiterated the racetrack is a workplace and Tasracing will not entertain any variation to the Harness Racing Australia Rules which currently ban anyone under 14 years of age who is not licensed from the stabling area. Dr Forbes indicated that it was not Tasracing’s intention to license persons under 14 years of age.

Yearling Sale
Members were advised that the Harness Yearling Sale Working Group (HYSWG) met on 7 March and discussed alternatives to a yearling sale. The HYSWG is committed to providing an outlet for the sale of yearlings and ongoing support for harness breeding in Tasmania.

HRA Mid Season Meeting
Phillip Young provided a summary of the meeting including an update on Hot Shots, the commencement of the ban on anabolic steroids and fixed odds on Sky monitors. He added that Tasmania ranks poorly on tardiness of race start times.

Pacing Monte Race
David Sales raised the possibility of a pacing monte race. It was suggested that a proposal be developed by David Sales and presented to the HIF for consideration.

Members acknowledged:

  • The achievement of Beautide in winning the 2014 Inter Dominion Final.
  • Dylan Fords three wins and overall second placing in the 2014 Australasian Young Drivers Championship.

Next Meeting – 6 June 2014.