Changes to harness race programming guidelines

Friday 8 April 2022

Implemented on 1 Jan 2021, the Harness Race Programming Guidelines are reviewed on a quarterly basis to better match available races with the racing population for welfare and race quality reasons.

The Programming sub-committee met on Monday, 15 March and discussed the proposed changes to the current guidelines. The proposed changes were subsequently endorsed at the Harness Industry Forum (HIF) held on 22 March for implementation from 1 May 2022.

The following changes were approved:

4YO & Older restricted win and Maiden races to be programmed at the secondary meeting – to carry premier meeting prizemoney levels

  • To remain within budget requirement when the above is done a lower rated race will be programmed at the premier meeting at the secondary meeting prizemoney level.

The increase of Trainer Encouragement (TE) races to four per month programmed across both Secondary and Premier meetings with the prizemoney level to be amended to $7,500 for all TE races.

The addition of race conditions to TE races such as:

  • Claiming Novice Drivers only
  • Selection based on number of wins
  • Trainer eligibility to remain consistent based on the previous year’s results.

Races that are programmed with a front up to and including NR45 to carry the following preferential barrier draws regardless of where they are programmed:

  • PBD/LTW or PBD/LT$


Tasracing is supportive of these industry-led changes from the perspective that:

  • There will be an Animal Welfare benefit as young horses are less likely to be competing against older horses on a regular basis
  • Horses in their ascendancy are less likely to be competing against older, more experienced horses
  • Expanded opportunities will provide encouragement of breeding in Tasmania
  • Encouragement of increased participation from a wider range of trainers at the Friday night meetings.

Claiming Races – When less than 3 nominations are received the race will be deleted. When 3 – 5 nominations are received the race will be opened to balloted horses. This will be done by creating a ballot race to include the nominated claimers with rating horses to enter and draw on the following:

  • NR50-54 $5k, each 5pts $1k

When 6 or more nominations are received the race will be run as programmed, i.e. Claiming

Please note: Claiming races will continue to be monitored due to the high proportion of races that have been deleted due to insufficient field size. If, over the upcoming three months, Claiming races continue to be deleted (due to insufficient nominations or requiring ballots to ensure the race proceeds) Tasracing will no longer continue to program Claiming races.

The above changes will be trialled for a period of three months from 1 May. During this period each change will be reviewed and Tasracing’s assessment will be shared with participants for consultation at its conclusion.

Harness Race Programs – May to July 2022

Paul Eriksson
Chief Executive Officer
8 April 2022