Tasmanian harness welfare racing announcement

Monday 25 November 2019

Tasracing is set to introduce a rule to prevent the over racing of horses.

CEO Paul Eriksson said Tasracing was currently formulating this welfare rule that would limit the number of times a harness horse can race in any 30-day period.

“Animal welfare is a key component of responsible racing,” he said.

“While the Board decision and subsequent rule introduction may impact the number of starters and the number of races held in a meeting, the welfare considerations for the animals was considered more important.

“While this will be managed as much as possible through changes in programming, it is the view of Tasracing that we will potentially lose, on average, one race per meeting.

“This will have a direct impact on Race Field Fee revenues but also an impact on our position with Sky Channel and broadcasters.”

Tasracing has determined that Trotting will continue as a means of providing additional content to assist in maintaining current race levels.

Trotting will continue under the following basis:

  • Two trotting races per month run at a stakes level of $5,500 and $8,100.
  • The races will be conducted under the same nomination rules currently being finalised for pacing thus the minimum field size for trotting will be raised from four to six. Nominations of three or more to be extended with races deleted with anything less than six acceptors.
  • Scratchings that occur will be reviewed.
  • Only trotters based in Tasmania will be eligible to participate in Tasmanian trotting races, the intention being to promote and support local trainers.
  • Performance will be reviewed regularly and the position updated based on participation.

Other issues raised in the actions and strategies of the Harness review will, following consultation with the Industry, also be pursued.

These strategies address Breeding, Programming (ratings), prizemoney and participant involvement.