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Thank you to Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson from Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit for his participation in this issue of Integrity Matters.
HRV has a strong working relationship with Victoria Police and continues to work in partnership to address any serious integrity related concerns.
In this edition, readers will get to know our animal welfare/licensing steward Lucy Lingard-Smith. In other HRV stewards’ staffing news cadet steward Ben Pearce joined the panel in October and former Tasmanian Chairman of Stewards Adrian Crowther joined the panel in November.

Social Media: During November, HRV Integrity Department forwarded letters to people involved in the harness racing industry advising them of their conduct in relation to comments made on social media in the last 12 months. Many of these matters were placed on hold pending a defamation matter, which has since been resolved. Due to the delay in attending to these matters and in fairness to all those concerned I believed the best approach was to issue warning letters to those concerned advising them that such leniency won’t be afforded in the future and any further breaches would likely result in punitive sanctions. HRV encourages owners, participants and the general public to use social media in a positive and constructive manner when discussing matters relevant to harness racing. All of us have different levels of resilience and public comments can cause emotional harm to individuals and to our industry. Please remember to exercise a degree of caution when using social media and before publishing and be mindful of the harm your posts could cause to others.

HRV RAD Board: Chairman Ms Alanna Duffy was promoted to Magistrate, thus making her position untenable. Judge Hicks will be Acting HRV RAD Chairman in the meantime with Barrister Peter Kilduff appointed to Acting Deputy HRV RAD Board Chairman.

Illicit Substances: The HRV Integrity Department reminds participants that random drug tests were conducted on harness racing participants during October and this approach will continue. There is no place in harness racing for illicit substances given the nature of our industry, which involves people being in charge of standardbred horses. Any licenced person who feels they need assistance in relation to substance abuse or other matters can contact the HRV Industry Assistance Program (IAP) confidentially, available at no cost to all employees, club volunteers, trainers, drivers and their immediate families.

If you have any suggestions or would like to read about particular issues, please email integritymatters@hrv.org.au.

Brent Fisher
General Manager - Integrity
 HRV stewards remind participants of the confidential and free services available through the Industry Assistance Program (IAP).  The IAP can assist with a wide range of personal and work-related issues which include anxiety, stress and depression, suicide, bullying and harassment, substance abuse and addictions. Further information can be found online by clicking here. Alternatively HRV stewards are willing to assist participants in need and can be contacted on (03) 8378 0222 or at a race meeting.

Safety equipment: All licensed persons are reminded of the requirements placed upon them by the Australian Harness Racing Rules (AHRR) to wear an approved helmet and body protector (safety vest) at all times when driving or riding a horse. This requirement includes training activities whether conducted on a racecourse or a private training track.

The relevant sections of AHRR 159A state: 159A. (1)  A driver shall wear a helmet which has been approved and entered in the Register of Helmets approved by Harness Racing Australia. (2)  A driver shall at all times when driving or riding a horse keep his or her helmet correctly fastened. (7)  A person shall at all times when driving or riding a horse wear a body protector which has been approved by Harness Racing Australia. Licensed persons are placed on notice that should they be found in breach of the above rules penalties may apply. All licensed persons are further reminded of Harness Racing Australia’s recommendation that helmets are updated every five years.

Mandatory requirements (throat lash fitted/taping of hopple carrying strap buckles): It has come to stewards’ attention that trainers are presenting horses to start in trials and races without a throat lash fitted to the bridle. Trainers are reminded it is a requirement to ensure a throat lash is fitted to all horses presented to race or trial. Trainers are also advised of the requirement to tape all buckles and fastening hopple carrying straps. This measure will reduce the chance of carrying straps coming undone, preventing a potential safety issue and/or a horse being otherwise unnecessarily retired from the event. The above requirements become effective 1 January 2019 and failure to comply may result in penalties being imposed.

 Brett Day
Acting Chairman of Stewards
Why Integrity Matters to Me
We talk to Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Paterson.
IM: What relationship does HRV have with  the Victoria Police Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit?
NP: The SIIU has an excellent relationship with HRV and has worked collaboratively with their Integrity Unit both on investigations as well as in providing presentations to stewards and industry participants. In March 2014, the SIIU commenced the successful Operation Lumberjacks, an investigation into harness race-fixing in the Mildura region of Victoria. This investigation was the first successful prosecution in any form of racing throughout Australia for such offending under the new match-fixing offences enacted in various Australian states and territories.
IM: Why is integrity important in harness racing?
NP: Operation Lumberjacks provided the SIIU with insight into why integrity is so important. With confidence returning to harness racing in the region, a number of positive flow-on effects to the community have since been observed. Unexpected benefits have varied from an anticipated increase in interest in future horse auctions that have previously had minimal sales to local stock-feed stores reporting increases in turnover due to trainers and owners returning to the industry. Increases in betting turnover have also been identified suggesting gamblers have more confidence in the integrity of races.
IM: What would you say to the harness racing people who have concerns about sport?
NP: Over the years the SIIU has conducted a number of investigations involving harness racing in Victoria. This experience has developed the SIIU into a world-leading sports integrity investigation unit. As such, harness racing people should be confident that the continued collaborative effort and successes achieved by the SIIU and HRV have placed harness racing in Victoria in the strongest possible position to maintain the integrity of its events.
IM: What does Integrity mean to you?
Integrity means doing the right thing, particularly in the face of adversity and when difficult decisions are required to be taken. 
HRV starts 2018-19 microchipping
After the successful rollout of microchipping last year, Harness Racing Victoria  veterinarians Dr Julia Aspinall, Dr Lesley Hawson and Dr Nick Branson are again implanting microchips for foals born this 2018 season.  
The veterinarians will accompany the branding team to ensure all foals will receive microchips matched to the foal’s registration and branding details. This process of branding and microchipping began on October 30 2018 in the Goulburn Valley. There will be no direct cost to participants for the microchips nor for their implantation.
Alpha-angle freeze branding will continue to be used as a method for the identification of horses. However, microchipping is an additional identifier that has several benefits. Recording the microchip information ensures that horses can be identified if lost or stolen, or in an emergency such as fire or flood.  Microchipping will also assist racing administrators to track the movement of horses from property to property to enable accurate records to be established for racing integrity and disease control purposes, and may ultimately replace traditional paper based systems.
Any person seeking information in relation to microchipping is encouraged to contact the HRV veterinarians on (03) 8378 0340 or (03) 8378 0267.
Defamation settlement
HRV General Manager Integrity Brent Fisher and Mr Rick Jones have agreed to settle a defamation case on agreed terms which are confidential. Mr Jones has apologised to Mr Fisher for his tweets that were the subject to the proceedings.
Worming horses successfully 
Successful worming of horses can be tricky. Unfortunately worming will never clear all of the worms from a horse.
A novel approach to worming horses has been developed by CSIRO so we thought we’d share it with you:
Why is successfully worming horses so tricky?
Worming involves placing a chemical into the gut that kills adult worms, but here’s the catch: worm larvae (the immature stages of worms) leave the gut and move all around the body.
Worm larvae can go into an inactive stage where they live outside the gut where they hibernate before moving back into the gut. It has been estimated that at any one time 90 per cent of worms in a horse are not actually even in the gut.
When adult worms in the gut lay eggs, eggs pass out with the faeces and contaminate the pasture. These eggs hatch into larvae on the ground and when the horse is grazing, these eggs and larvae then get eaten, re-enter the horse’s body and the worm life cycle continues as shown: Eggs > Larvae > Adult Worms > Eggs > Larvae > Adult Worms and so on.
There are lots of effective worming products available on the market that can kill adult worms and keep horses fit and healthy. In combination with regularly picking up and removal of horse manure from the paddock (every single day is best), strategic worming can be a very effective way of making sure a horse is in the best possible health.
A general recommendation is to make sure that all horses receive a worming treatment for gut worms, tapeworms and bot fly larvae in late autumn/early spring.
Key fact one: No one chemical kills all of the different types of worms or stages of worms that horses are infected with.
Key fact two: Horse worms become resistant to chemicals and, as this resistance develops, gut worming chemicals become less effective. In a world first, CSIRO has been researching and developing a fungus that works in a slightly different way to traditional horse worming chemicals. It is given to horses as a food additive and the fungus passes through the horse without being digested. The fungus then starts to work on the faeces when it’s on the ground. It does this by building a web in the faeces that traps worm eggs and worm larvae. This puts a handbrake on the worm life cycle because the horse is no longer eating the eggs and larvae off the pasture. The worm life cycle is interrupted and the number of worms inside the horse will be reduced.
Key fact three: This fungus targets eggs and larvae in a mechanical way so, unlike worming chemicals, worms cannot become resistant to the fungus.
Can we monitor how our worming and pasture management programs are working? Yes we can.
A very effective way to do this is to have faecal samples examined under a microscope for worm eggs to detect numbers and type of worms present in the animal. This test is cheap to do, it’s called a faecal egg count. Have a chat to your vet about getting faecal egg counts done. It can be a very cost effective way of monitoring the success of your existing program and whether any changes can be made.
Possible changes after doing a faecal egg count might be reducing worming treatments, changing the type of wormer being used or increasing the frequency of worming treatments.
We hope you find this information useful to guide your worming and pasture management programs.
Getting to Know: Lucy Wingard-Smith

This month we're getting to know Lucy Wingard-Smith, HRV's Animal Welfare and Licensing Steward. 

IM: Tell us about your background?
LWS: My life and career has always revolved around animals and I have a strong passion for animal welfare personally and professionally. My first job was as a stablehand in a harness racing stable, which cemented my passion for horses. I spent time as a small animal and equine veterinary nurse, animal technician and then moved into local government in local laws and animal management, largely involving licensing, system development and managing a team of local laws officers.
IM: What is your role at HRV?
LWS: I am the Animal Welfare and Licensing Steward. The animal welfare aspect is to monitor the welfare of horses and work with the veterinary staff to ensure we are providing education and action where required. The licensing component is to process applications and carry out compliance in accordance with the HRV licensing policy.
IM: Why did you want to join the HRV Integrity Department?
LWS: The role incorporates my skills, love for horses and passion for animal welfare. My roots take me back to harness racing and I wanted to be a part of an integrity team to help strengthen welfare standards for standardbreds and  provide education to our participants with the ever-growing research into training and welfare of horses.
IM: How do you balance both roles?
LWS: Currently I spend a day or two a week on the road focusing on welfare and the rest on licensing.
IM: What does Integrity mean to you?
LWS: Integrity to me is holding high values of equality and fairness to provide a level field for all participants and horses. From a welfare perspective, ensuring horse welfare is regarded highly and the horses bred for racing have a good quality of life prior to, during and after racing.
Contact Integrity Matters any time via email: integritymatters@hrv.org.au
or phone: (03) 9214 0651
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