Inaugural Alabar HERO Series Final 2017 - Won by Eboni Knights and Equity Wizzbang
The first of many HERO Championships was held at the Saddlehorse Championships at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds January 7th & 8th. Eboni Knights and Equity Wizzbang (Maxwell Smart) took out the coveted first place winning $1000 and a place in history.
Eboni was thrilled with her and Max's win saying that she bought him as a retired Standardbred 8 years ago. He didn't know how to canter and she didn't know how to ride. They have certainly come a long way from then gathering up the Champion led Standardbred title as well as the coveted HERO prize.
Runner up was Rebecca Farren with Paragon Minda who also took out the Newcomer prize as well so a win-win for Paragon Minda!
2017 is going to be a very exciting year for the retired Standardbred with the popularity of the HERO series combined with the Government funding providing skilled retrainers for the retired pacer and trotter. The chance of a second career after their racing has finished brings with it purpose and glory, something these horses deserve.
ALABAR HERO FUNDING ANNOUNCED
Harness Racing Victoria has welcomed the State Government announcement of a joint funding package of $362,000 to help ensure harness horses are afforded a quality life in retirement after their racing career has finished.
The Government is providing $181,000 to the Harness Education Re-homing Opportunities (HERO) program, HRV's flagship and industry-leading welfare program, to retrain retired racehorses to become trail riding ponies, competitive show and eventing horses, or simply pleasure animals and family pets.
HRV Chairman Dale Monteith says "HRV is extremely grateful to the State Government for this ongoing funding, which will help us to recruit suitably-skilled people as registered re-trainers and to increase the number of horses in the HRV HERO program."
In the first year of the HERO Program, more than 200 horses were either re-homed or placed with a registered HERO trainer in preparation for re-homing.
The HERO program is also working with the Victoria Police Mounted Division to identify horses that may be suitable for police duty.
Funding for the program will be sourced from the Government's Victorian Racing Industry Fund. HRV will also contribute $181,000 to support the program.