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I believe continual improvement in the relationship between the HRV Integrity Department and the harness racing industry through assistance, education and guidance is imperative and that integrity requires dedication and commitment.

HRV has made significant changes to the Integrity Department, including hiring three new full-time investigators and a Senior Information and Intelligence Analyst Lola Grech, who features in this edition of Integrity Matters.
HRV also invested in a case management system that enables deeper assessment of intelligence and information than ever before, employed an external company to monitor all wagering activity and provide recommendations (independent of the stewards’ panel), purchased technology to extract mobile phone information, and deployed investigative unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV – drones).

The Integrity Department has added additional stewards, with Michael Ross joining the team in late 2017 (featured in April-May edition of Integrity Matters), while Lucy Lingard-Smith begins in late July in the newly created Animal Welfare and Licensing Steward role.

Lucy takes over from current part-time licensing steward David Allison, who will retire in September after a lengthy period of exemplary service at HRV. Having a full-time Animal Welfare and Licensing Steward will provide an increased capability in addressing animal welfare concerns for the industry.

In relation to animal welfare and licensing, I would like to take this opportunity to remind industry participants to please complete their mandatory training.   

On a final note, I  must sincerely thank Shayne Cramp, who features in this edition of Integrity Matters. Shayne’s responses in the Why Integrity Matters to Me were very raw and highlighted the toll engaging in criminal conduct in harness racing can take on the lives of licenced participants, their family and friends. I hope the industry can appreciate the courage it takes for Shayne to talk about his experience.

Brent Fisher
General Manager - Integrity
On June 21, Harness Racing Australia (HRA) advised of new whip rules intended to take effect on September 1. The major change to the current whip rule is detailed in the new Australian Harness Racing Rule 156(2) which states:  A driver shall only apply the whip in a flicking motion whilst holding a rein in each hand with the tip of the whip pointed forward in an action which does not engage the shoulder.
In order to comply with the rule drivers must meet the four essential components:
(1) Hold a rein in each hand when applying the whip;
(2) Only use the whip with a flicking motion;
(3) Ensure the tip of the whip is in eyesight when flicking the horse thereby ensuring the tip of the tip is pointed forward;
(4) Only use the wrist and elbow when flicking the horse with the whip. 
There are some drivers who already employ a whip action which would comply with the new whip rule, however all drivers are advised to review their whip action prior to September 1 against the new requirements. Should any driver need assistance or advice please approach the HRV Stewards at a race meeting or contact them on 8378 0222. 
The HRV Stewards understand the widely held industry view that the whip is an important safety tool and we will be determined in our policing of these new whip rules to do our part to ensure the whip remains.  However, it must be remembered that these new whip rules were only considered after the decision was originally made to ban the whip altogether in 2016 and I urge all drivers to commit to adhering to the new rules as this may be the last chance the industry will have to maintain use of the whip.
The HRV Stewards will work with the Victorian Trainers and Drivers Association (VTDA) to ensure that the HRV Stewards whip rule interpretations and penalty guidelines are clearly understood by all drivers prior to the effective date of 1 September 2018. 
Steward Resources
I am pleased to report that Mr Jason Fino was appointed as an Assistant Steward and Starter in June. 
Mr Fino was licensed as a trainer/driver since 1990 and has officiated as the Starter at the Tabcorp Park trials since 2016. I am sure that Mr Fino, who is a well-respected member of the Victorian harness racing industry, will capably fulfil the requirements of both roles with his first-hand horse and starting experience to prove extremely beneficial.
HRV has also recently advertised for a Cadet Steward with a strong field of candidates applying for the position which is pleasing and indicates a continual interest in the harness racing industry. The process of determining the successful applicant is under way. 
Brett Day
Acting Chairman of Stewards
Why Integrity Matters to Me

Shayne Cramp was disqualified for 12 years in 2015 after being convicted at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on charges relating to corrupting betting outcomes in harness racing. Shayne speaks candidly in this edition of Integrity Matters about the toll his disqualification has had on his life.
IM: Tell us about your greatest moment in harness racing?
SC: “Winning two Victorian trainers premierships was the highlight, sponsoring my local club, and also on a few occasions donating my winnings on race nights to children’s charities was an achievement from within our stable that I was very proud of.”
IM: Why were you disqualified?
SC: “For engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome.”
IM: How did your disqualification impact you and also your reputation?
SC: “As soon as my disqualification started I made a choice to be better, not bitter. I accepted my wrongdoing and took full responsibility for it. We all make mistakes in life but it’s how we respond to them that can define us as people. The impact has been truly devastating. My children, family and friends have also suffered and I’m deeply sorry my actions have caused this. I’ve suffered severe depression. I’ve lost literally everything financially. I’ve had to sell all my assets and my property and anything I owned just to keep my head above water. Being remembered for my disqualification rather than the good I’ve done in the industry has hurt my reputation immensely.”
IM: What lessons have you learnt?
SC: “Being older now and having spent a lot of time away from the sport gives you time to look back at things a lot more clearly. I’d be more professional and have a thorough understanding of the rules. Your license is a privilege not a given. Don’t take that for granted.”
IM: As a former leading trainer/driver what would be your leading advice you would offer to other participants based on your experience that resulted in your disqualification?
SC: “When you’re a licensed person you have to be responsible for yourself; you’re on your own, don’t succumb to peer pressure from anyone no matter how close that person is to you. If you feel something may not be right speak up, don’t be afraid to communicate with HRV and its integrity department. What I have been through, I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.”
IM: As a former leading trainer/driver what would be the leading advice you could offer to other participants on the importance of integrity in the sport of harness racing?
SC: In any sport or organisation, now more than ever, integrity is number one. A greater understanding of this by participants is very important for the sport to thrive in the future. Once again communicate with the industry leaders if you have any questions. Guidance for the younger generation is a must. They are the future.
Location of horses

Trainers are reminded of their obligations under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 119C to ensure that horses trained by them are stabled at their registered training establishment, unless prior approval has been given by the stewards.
Horses found to be at any other location may be withdrawn from their engagements and the trainer penalised.
AHRR 119C, reads:
  1. A trainer shall not without the prior approval of the Stewards stable any horse trained by him in any location other than any registered training establishment of the trainer.
  2. A trainer who fails to comply with sub-rule (1) is guilty of an offence and in addition to any other penalty that may be imposed, the nomination of the horse concerned may not be accepted or if after acceptance, be rejected and the horse withdrawn from or disqualified from the race.
It is also timely to request trainers to review their current essential stable administration requirements, including the correct registered training establishment address; stable returns for all horses in a trainers care; notification of relinquishment for horses no longer in a trainers care; deregistration of horses no longer involved in the harness racing industry; and current licenses for all persons with responsibilities for handling horses.

Notice to industry – altrenogest 

HRV has been made aware that products containing altrenogest may contain levels of trenbolone and/or trendione, which are banned substances with extended detection times.
Further investigation, including liaising with the manufacturers, is being undertaken by HRV and other racing jurisdictions to clarify the situation.  HRV will provide updates as soon as they are available.
Until further notice, trainers and veterinarians are advised to immediately stop the use of products that contain altrenogest.

Notice to industry – capsaicin

Trainers are reminded that the presence of capsaicin in a raceday equine urine sample is a prohibited substance. Trainers are further reminded that under Australian Harness Racing Rule (AHRR) 190 (4), an offence is committed if a horse is presented with a prohibited substance in its system, regardless of the circumstances in which the prohibited substance came to be present in the horse.

Capsaicin is an active component of chilli peppers, plants belonging to the genus Capsicum. It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. Capsaicin and several related compounds are called capsaicinoids and are produced as secondary metabolites by chilli peppers, most likely as deterrents against certain mammals and fungi. Pure capsaicin is a hydrophobic, colourless, highly pungent, and crystalline to waxy compound.

Capsaicin is a banned substance in equestrian sports, including harness racing, because of its hyper sensitising and pain-revealing properties.

Products that contain capsaicin include, but are not limited to, Stop Crib, Keep Tail and RedHOT Paste.

Keep a look out for scammers

In recent times the Integrity department has received information that industry participants have been subject to overpayment scams.  This scam involves industry participants selling horses online, with the scammer overpaying for the horse then requesting the difference to be refunded.  This often happens prior to the completion of the original transaction, cancelling the original cheque or transfer, or sending a fake receipt of payment.  
Participants should be wary of buyers who are overpaying for goods advertised, and are advised to report the matter to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam?
HRV have notified other harness racing jurisdictions of the overpayment scams.
Reduce transfer of infectious diseases

Harness Racing Victoria Veterinarian Dr Nick Branson reminds participants of the principles underlying high standards of biosecurity.
The key points described below can be used to cross-check with your current practices.

1. Train all staff in disease prevention, identification and hygiene procedures. Be well set up for staff, visitors and professionals (veterinarians, farriers and dentist) to wash and disinfect their hands and any equipment used on horses. Personnel should wash their hands between handling groups of horses. 

2. Regularly clean and disinfect stables, equipment and transport vehicles. Clean and disinfect equipment such as bits, twitches and stomach tubes between use on different horses.

3. Control insects and rodents by ensuring good draining and manure management. Keep feed in rodent-proof storage containers, limit spots for pests to breed and hide, and empty the manure pit regularly.

4. Vaccinate horses and keep records for diseases like tetanus, strangles and Hendra. Verify proof of worming and vaccination history for new arrivals on to your property.

5. Isolate new horse arrivals for two weeks and only introduce horses from properties with a known health status. Be more cautious if horses have come from a sales complex, have used commercial or shared horse transport vehicles or have originated from properties with low or unknown health status or hygiene. Be aware that a horse may be carrying an infectious disease, for example strangles, without showing any signs. Monitor new arrivals twice daily for signs of disease.

6.  Isolate horses at the first sign of sickness until contagious disease has been ruled out and/or have recovered after treatment. Keep equipment used on isolated horses separate. Handle sick horses last. Use separate clothing or coveralls and boots when handling them. 

7. Do not move sick horses off the property except for veterinary treatment or under veterinary supervision.

8. Take precautions when at an event such as a trial or race meeting. Avoid direct nose to nose contact with other horses and the use of communal water troughs. Do not share buckets, tack or grooming equipment with horses from other stables. If other people touch your horse ensure they have washed their hands. After returning home from an event, clean and disinfect your truck/float, tack and equipment.

9. Be familiar with normal vital signs for horses. Monitor horses twice daily for feed and water intake, attitude and manure. Check the rectal temperature of any horses that do not display normal signs of health. Normal range is 37.5 to 38.5 degrees Celsius.

10. Increase perimeter security by keeping boundary fences in good condition. Double fences and tree plantations provide an excellent barrier. Electric fencing will not completely eliminate nose to nose contact with neighbour’s horses but it can deter horses if other options are not available.

For any enquiries or further information contact HRV's veterinary department via email (veteri narian@hrv.org.au)  or call 03 8378 0200.
Notice to trainers
HRV Senior Veterinarian Julia Aspinall advises that the endoscope program is in full swing with close to a 100 horses examined.
The primary use of the scope is to assist stewards and trainers post-race to identify abnormalities. Electives will not be performed if racing duty requirements are underway.
We ask trainers to notify the vets at the earliest opportunity if they require a scope so that an indication of availability and a suitable time can be given.
If you are requiring a scope urgently on the last race then you must notify the vets as soon as your horse exits the track or scope disinfection will be taking place.
Getting to Know: Lola Grech

This month we're Getting to Know HRV Senior Information and Intelligence Analyst Lola Grech

IM: Tell us about your background?
LG: “I have worked for Victoria Police in tactical and strategic intelligence, largely responsible for the analysis and management of intelligence in serious criminal investigations. I’ve also worked at the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner, where I developed, implemented and managed the intelligence framework.”
IM: What is your role at HRV?
LG: “As the Senior Information and Intelligence Analyst I am responsible for the management of information and intelligence received by the Integrity Department, ensuring it is recorded and acted upon.  I work with the Integrity team providing analysis and advice on key integrity matters.”
IM: Why did you want to join the HRV Integrity Department?
LG: “I was aware the Integrity Department was undergoing significant change and saw an opportunity to use my experience to establish the intelligence framework for HRV and shape the way in which the Integrity Department manages information and investigations going forward.”   
IM: How do you manage all the information that is received at the Integrity Department?  
LG: “All information and complaints received by the Integrity Department are recorded in a case management system, which allows management and transparency of investigations from receipt to outcome. Once the information or complaint is received and recorded, it is assessed, and is either allocated to an Investigative Steward for investigation (overseen by the Manager, Investigations and Compliance) or recorded for intelligence purposes to assist in identifying future and potential risks to the harness industry.”
IM: Why should people have confidence in the information that is provided to the Integrity Department?
LG: “The handling of information and complaints is taken extremely seriously, in accordance with the HRV Complaint Management policy and Investigations Standard Operating Procedures. Any information received is recorded and assessed in a secure system, accessed by a limited number of users. The process and system is fully auditable.”
IM: What does Integrity mean to you?
LG: “To me integrity means impartiality, honesty and transparency. I care that all horses go around fairly, giving everyone involved in harness racing, be it participants, the public or punters equal opportunity to succeed.”
Contact Integrity Matters any time via email: integritymatters@hrv.org.au
or phone: (03) 9214 0651
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