View this email in your browser
It has been great to get positive feedback on the first Integrity Matters newsletter and we’re always interested in hearing feedback and suggested improvements. Please email any feedback to 
In this month’s Integrity Matters, we introduce a new segment, ‘Getting to Know’ a member of the integrity team.

In recent months the HRV integrity department has conducted out-of-competition testing for the APG and Australasian Premier Trotting Sale. We were also busy with increased compliance measures during the Summer of Glory carnival and I would like to thank participants for their co-operation.   

We have recently advertised for a Licensing/Animal Welfare Steward. The current part-time licensing steward position will now include an animal welfare role to compliment the focus on animal welfare. This has been a significant focus of the integrity department in the last 12 months with the recent additions of HRV vets and the development and implementation of the animal welfare framework.

Chairman of Stewards Nick Murray will commence a secondment opportunity at the AFL from April 9, 2018, for three weeks to look at the AFL coaching model and how another sporting code conducts its integrity department. I’m sure it will be a great experience for Nick. Brett Day will be Acting Chairman of Stewards during this time.

Brent Fisher
General Manager - Integrity
The extremely tragic passing of young driver Nic Dewar while travelling home from a race meeting reminds us all of the dangers associated with our roads.

The unique nature of our industry means there are often multiple race meetings conducted both day and night throughout the state and there is often a requirement for participants to spend long hours on the road driving between race meetings.

Stewards are conscious of this issue, however licenced drivers should familiarise themselves with the AHRR rules in relation to accepting engagements at multiple venues on the same day to allow sufficient time to travel safely between venues and to be on course at least 30 minutes prior to their relevant driving engagement.

Trainers and Drivers are reminded to communicate with respective clubs and Stewards if they are delayed on the way to the races.

Continuing with the safety theme, participants are reminded of the requirement to wear approved body protectors (safety vest) at all times when riding or driving a horse, inclusive of trackwork.

Nick Murray
Chairman of Stewards
Why Integrity Matters to Me

In April 2017, trainer Chris Angove was disqualified for 12 months after HRV stewards invoked AHRR 261 (1).  The background of the case was that in January 2016, HRV stewards were aware of an incident that occurred at an agistment property in Avoca, whereby the standardbred horse Loveyougoodboy was required to be humanely euthanised.  Mr Angove spoke with Integrity Matters and we’re very thankful to him for doing so.

How did your disqualification/suspension impact you?
“The disqualification has had a severe impact on my life. My son Brad, who is learning the trade, was developing into a fine horseman and we had a great team effort in operation. Being separated from my friends at the tracks and not having any contact was shattering. I am still receiving counselling over the incident, which was a tragic unforeseen occurrence.”
What impact has your indiscretion had on your reputation in the sport?
“It has had a huge impact. I always took great pride in the way I cared for and, in particular, presented my horses at the races. A healthy strong horse is the first step to success.  The vitriolic posting on social media in the first few days has left a scar on my life forever. Luckily for me, my friends, who appreciated that the incident was not in my character having cared properly for my horses for over 40 years, helped keep me on the level.”

What lessons have you learnt?
“The lesson I have learned is that having horses off-property and a substantial distance from your residence is fraught with pitfalls.”

What would be the leading advice you would offer to other participants given your experience?
“My advice would be to have your horses close to home where you can keep a daily check on them. A lot can happen in 48 hours.”

Why does integrity matter?
“The success of our sport relies on a level playing field for everyone.”

Please note: Participants are reminded of HRV’s Horse Welfare policy, which can be found here:

Participants wishing to access HRV’s Industry Assistance Program can do so here:  
HRV providing scope for answers

As advised in the last Integrity Matters newsletter, HRV has commenced post-race endoscopic horse examinations at Bendigo Harness Racing Club and Tabcorp Park Melton.

This initiative started at Bendigo on February 8, and will be trialled for 12 months at these two venues. The program, the only one of its kind in Australian harness racing, will allow veterinarians acting upon the request of stewards to conduct thorough and timely post-race endoscopic examinations of horses that perform below expectations to identify any abnormalities and the need for further treatment.

Since implementation, there have some common question asked by licensed participants to the vets in relation to the use of the endoscopic examination. Please find below some common questions asked and answers for the benefit of the industry.   

When are the scopes being performed?
They form part of the post-race examination requested by the stewards for horses at Bendigo and Melton that have performed poorly. After the initial examination and trot-up by the vet, the horse will then be scoped by the vet at the swab stall (Bendigo) or in scoping area (Melton).
Can I ask for my horse to be scoped by the vet even if the stewards have not requested a post-race veterinary examination?
Yes, absolutely. The scoping is there to assist you (the trainer) in your management of the horse. It is to help you recognise problems that you may not see in a scope the days after the race. You may find that the driver has come back and said the horse was making a noise or breathing abnormally, so you can scope it to see if that provides any answers. You may not be happy with the performance of the horse and want some answers as to why the horse hadn’t performed as expected, so you can get it scoped to see if there is mucous (infection) or blood in the airway, or an abnormality in the structure of the airway to explain why it hasn’t performed. 

If I ask for a scope how much will it cost?
A: $100 and you will be billed by HRV.
Process for complaints or providing information

You can contact the investigations team either by telephone (HRV Stewards 03 8378 0222 or the Integrity Hotline 03 9214 0651).  Please note the Integrity Hotline is a dedicated 24-hour recording service.

You can also provide information by email ( or online via the ‘Report Suspicious Activity’ form at our website.

Any complaint or information provided through the Integrity Hotline (03 9214 0651) recording service, integrity email ( and ‘Report Suspicious Activity’ goes directly to the investigations team.
Can I remain anonymous?
Yes.  Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may provide the information directly to the Integrity Hotline (03 9214 0651) recording service or via the ‘Report Suspicious Activity’ an online form

Who does the investigations team consist of?
While the investigations team works independently of the raceday panel, the two groups work together to maintain a strong integrity focus through regulation, enforcement and education.
The investigations team is made up of four investigative stewards, a licensing and liaison steward, and an information and intelligence analyst, who report to the Manager of Investigations and Compliance, who in turn reports to the General Manager – Integrity.

Who is the investigations team?
Manager, Investigations and Compliance: Anthony Pearce
Investigative Stewards: Russell Anderson, Neal Conder, Stephen Svanosio, Daniel Caruana
Licensing and Liaison Steward: David Allison
Senior Information and Intelligence Analyst: Lola Grech
HRV hair testing increase

The HRV integrity department will increase the volume of animal hair testing as part of the overall swab management plan.   

Currently, HRV carries out blood and urine testing.  We now we have another method of testing to assist in ensuring a level playing field is upheld, particularly in relation to the use and detection of prohibited substances. 

Hair testing analysis has a major advantage as an analytical tool for the retrospective detection of drug administration.

Hair material is preferred as a collection method, in cases of limited availability or complicated collection of urine.

Hair testing is not only useful in detecting prohibited substances, it is also useful for yearling or new horse purchase and it also has advantages for quick sampling, easy storage and the transportation of samples.

HRV integrity department had a matter where testosterone propionate was identified in a horse through hair analysis. Please find media release here to find out more. 
This month we’re Getting to Know HRV steward Michael Ross.
Q: Why did you want to join the HRV Integrity Department? 
A: I believe HRV is the leader in the harness racing industry and can offer more opportunities as a steward to grow in experience and able to work with some of the leading stewards in the whole harness racing industry

Q: Can you take us through how you came to be a Steward at HRV?
After doing my stewardship in Queensland I was afforded the opportunity to join HRV, which is a chance that doesn’t come often.
Q: How have you found the transition from being a licensed driver to a Steward?
I found the transition quite easy, especially starting my stewardship in Queensland as I didn’t know any of the licensees and came in with a lot of knowledge of the rules.
Q: Any difficulties you encountered?
The difficulties I have realised are the evidence stewards need to require to proceed with charges and relating offence’s to rules provided by AHR and how each state has different meaning for each rule.
Q: What does Integrity mean to you?
Integrity is being honest and having strong moral principles and truthfulness and that the industry requires this and no one person within the harness racing industry is bigger then it.  
Q: What's your favourite pastime outside of racing? 
Ice skating and Water skiing.

Q: Do you have a favourite sports team, and if so, who is it?
West Coast Eagles in the AFL and Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL.
Contact Integrity Matters any time via email:
or phone: (03) 9214 0651
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.