Should I get into ownership? Is it right for me? What will I get out of it?
These are big and important questions as you contemplate whether ownership is right for you.
Well, ask yourself this:
Do you love being a part of something meaningful? Something with ups and downs that can produce amazing rewards, challenges and opportunities, which you can drive or share with your friends?
If so, you’ve very likely come to the right place. Let’s learn more about trots ownership and whether it’s right for you. There are many ways to experience owning a harness racing horse.
First things first....
As a sole owner you’re entitled to the entire owners’ prize if your horse places or wins. You’re also responsible for the expenses associated with the horse, such as training fees, transport, farrier and veterinary costs. You can also create your own legacy by naming the horse and having their driver race in your personal silks.
A part-owner has the same privileges as a sole owner, however, you get to share costs as well as the rewards. Why not enjoy the moment with a close friend or family member?
Leasing a horse can reduce your buy-in costs and can be a more economical way to get started. A lease involves entering into an agreement with the horse’s owner, where you typically pay a fee to race the horse for a specified period while the owner retains ownership.
Click here to examine the next steps in your ownership journey.
Visit the Victorian trainers’ directory for a list of licensed trainers. It is important to do your research and find a trainer who is suited for your needs.
Do you have a HarnessWeb account? No? Well, what are you waiting for! HarnessWeb is an incredible online portal that allows you to effortlessly make online transfers of ownership, manage lease agreements and keep track of your horse's racing and trialling schedules. Don't miss out on this opportunity! Create your own personal account today.
The Victorian Harness Racing Club, 'the Heart of Harness Racing', welcomes you to join amid a prestigious new era for the VHRC. Watch your horse take on the best of metropolitan racing in exclusive style from The Club Lounge at Melton and benefit from up to $900,000 worth of bonuses on offer for trainers and owners who are VHRC members.
Harness Racing Victoria prides itself on governing the best harness racing jurisdiction in Australasia. It has the most prizemoney, most races, most clubs and most loyal fans and supporters. That makes it the best place to get involved in ownership, but, importantly, it also has the best futurities race series and bonus schemes.
Let’s start with the futurity schemes, which reward locally bred pacers and trotters.
• Vicbred is a nation-leading breeding scheme that provides incentives and rewards to breeders and owners of racehorses. It has different levels of eligibility and benefits based on the horse’s lineage and where it was born as well as September’s amazing Vicbred Super Series.
• Breeders Crown is a prestigious racing series in November that brings together the best horses in their divisions. Horses compete in different categories based on their age and gender, such as two-year olds, three-year olds and older horses. Breeders Crown showcases top-level competition and is highly regarded by both horse racing enthusiasts and industry professionals.
• Need for Speed is for three-year-old trotters and consists of heats and finals, with the latter part of a big Melton celebration that spotlights our terrific Team Teal, a fundraiser to support the fight against ovarian cancer. The top placed horses in the heats qualify for the finals, with a consolation race for each division.
For more information on all the above Futurity Schemes, please visit the Breeders Barn.
If your mare is served by a stallion who is standing in Victoria, South Australia or Tasmania during the relevant breeding season either of these two options can apply:
You’ll be charged $220 which is the price of a foal notification in Victoria. Coupons must be received by HRV no later than the 1st of May immediately following your foal’s birth.
A ‘Vicbred stallion’ is a stallion that is physically standing in Victoria, South Australia or Tasmania during the relevant breeding season.
A stallion for which you have imported semen – even if purchased through a Victorian, South Australian or Tasmanian stud – will not be considered as a Vicbred stallion.
If your mare is not served by a Vicbred Stallion, she must be inseminated in and foal in one of those states and her foal must be notified to HRV. The fee for this scenario varies as below:
If your mare is not located in Victoria, South Australia or Tasmania and you don’t breed her to a sire based in one of those states, you are unable to make the resultant foal Vicbred eligible.
There are no yearling fees under the Vicbred program.
A 2YO age acceptance fee of $220 is due by the 1st of December (one month before your horse becomes a 2YO for racing purposes). At this point you may instead choose to pay a higher fee of $440 which will make your horse eligible for its 2YO, 3YO & 4YO seasons.
If you don’t choose to pay the $440 as a 2YO, you’ll need to pay $220 for each age acceptance thereafter ($660 total cost to be paid up as a 2YO, 3YO & 4YO).
If you don’t contact HRV prior to the 1st of December to accept (age or series) you’ll automatically be invoiced for the relevant $220 age acceptance fee. If you fail to pay the invoice by the 6th of March your horse will automatically be withdrawn and will no longer be Vicbred eligible for that season.
If for some reason you miss the deadline but still want your horse to be Vicbred eligible, the following late fee structure applies:
Vicbred First Win Bonuses are only payable where payment has been received and processed and may not be backdated.
If you don’t choose to make your horse eligible for their 2YO season you can still pay up for their 3YO or 4YO seasons.
A horse bred anywhere in the world can be made eligible for the Breeders Crown, providing the relevant fee schedule is followed.
Studs are required to nominate their stallions for the Breeders Crown if they wish for foal owners to be eligible for reduced Foal Nomination fees.
In any Breeders Crown Final, the 'Stallion Nominator' will receive 5% of the prizemoney won by any horse for which they have paid the relevant stallion nomination.
The following fee structure applies:
For stallions registered and standing in Australia or New Zealand for the relevant season (23/24 season):
For stallions registered and standing in the Northern Hemisphere for the relevant season (23/24 season):
Foal nominations are due by 1 August 2023 for horses born from 1 September 2022 onwards.
The following fees apply:
After the 1st of August, late fees are will be applied. Contact HRV Futurities to confirm applicable fee.
Yearling (or Series) nominations are due by 1 August 2023 when your horse is a yearling. You must nominate your horse to remain in the series.
Age Acceptances invoices are raised on 16th March 2023 and payment is due by 1st August 2023. These apply to 2YOs and 3YOs.
Eligibility for the series is based on futurity payments and will consist of Heats and Finals for each sex.
Australian Foals - Nomination to be sent to HRV by 1st August 2023 ($88)
New Zealand Foals- Nomiantion to be sent to HRV or HRNZ by 1st August 2023 ($88AUD or $100NZ)
Yearling Nomination Fee ($220) to be sent to HRV by 1st August 2023.
Series Fee ($440). Series Fee will not be cancelled.
Due 1st August 2023. Horse will be withdrawn if payment not received by 15th August.
With a magnificent new owners & members facility known as The Club Lounge now open at Melton, there has never been a better time to become a member of the VHRC.
This stunning new room has a great look and feel and is the best room at the venue to watch harness racing from. With a magnificent bar facility and great views of the track, VHRC Members will enjoy the best seat in the house at the new Club Lounge Facility.
Members of the VHRC can access the magnificent new Club Lounge at every metropolitan meeting at Melton. If you love harness racing and are not a member of the VHRC, what are you waiting for - join today and enjoy the best seat in the house.
As important as the dynamic deeds that our beloved horses perform on the track are the long and happy lives, they enjoy post their racing careers.
THE HRV Hero program creates pathways and support for Harness Racing Victoria’s equine athletes into their lives beyond the track. Since 2015 the program has assisted standardbreds, regardless of their on-track deeds, transition to diverse careers and forever homes, including showing, trail riding, dressage and as companions. With the great support of the Victorian industry, HRV Hero has been able to raise the bar and ensure racehorses continue to flourish long after their final race is run.
It’s never too early to consider post-racing options for your horse; even before their racing career begins!
a) Decide whether you want to be a sole owner, share it with friends (or friends-to-be) or be part of a syndicate.
b) Familiarise yourself with the different trainers and stables that are available to you in Victoria or locally to yourself. It is important you find a trainer that will meet your needs. You can find them in our Trainers Directory or by attending Race Meetings throughout Victoria. Or you can contact local harness racing clubs in your region and ask about trainers and stables available in the area.
Yes, these regulations aim to ensure the integrity of the sport and the welfare of the horses. HRV is responsible for overseeing the sport and enforcing the rules and regulations. Racing Information - Harness Racing Victoria (thetrots.com.au)
The cost of owning a harness racing horse can vary significantly depending on the horse’s age, pedigree, racing potential and current market conditions. Additional costs may include training fees, vet care, transport and stabling expenses. It’s recommended to consult with industry professionals or existing owners to get a better understanding of the potential costs involved.
Ongoing expenses can include training fees, vet expenses, feed and nutrition, farrier services (hoof care), insurance, stabling or agistment fees and transport costs for racing. These expenses can vary depending on the horse’s needs and the level of competition it participates in. Training fees in Victoria vary between $45-$90 per day, depending on what trainer you use. Find out more. (Trainers Directory - Harness Racing Victoria (thetrots.com.au))
a) Seek guidance from trainers, breeders or industry professionals who have experience in evaluating and selecting racehorses to make sure you find a horse who suits your requirements and has the potential to perform well in harness racing.
b) Industry professionals can help you select the right horses, considering factors such as pedigree and bloodline, confirmation and physical attributes, performance and racing history, and soundness history if purchasing an already started horse.
a) Once you have identified a horse you are interested in, negotiate the price, and complete the necessary paperwork to buy it and become an owner. (Participant Forms - Harness Racing Victoria (thetrots.com.au))
b) You and your trainer may often engage a veterinarian to perform a comprehensive health examination of the horse to ensure it is in good condition. https://www.thetrots.com.au/for-participants/forms/
c) Create a HarnessWeb login to track your horse’s journey from trials to races, and gain access to the necessary forms required as an owner. Welcome to HarnessWeb - HarnessWeb
a) Attend harness racing sales and auctions where horses are bought and sold. This is an opportunity to connect with trainers, breeders, owners and find potential horses to buy. Find out more about the Nutrien Standardbred Yearling Sale.
b) Contact agents or search online on various trading platforms to find an older horse that is already competing. This presents a valuable opportunity to evaluate the horse’s racing pattern and ability prior to making a purchase.
In harness racing, a futurity refers to a type of race or series specifically designed for young horses. These races are restricted to horses of a certain age, typically two or three-year-olds, and offer substantial prize money or prestige for the participants. Futurities are significant events in the harness racing calendar because they not only promote the development of young horses but also attract attention from breeders, owners, trainers, and fans alike. Winning a futurity can greatly enhance a horse's reputation and increase its value for breeding or potential sales.
The concept of futurities is not unique to Harness Racing Victoria; it is a prevalent and well-established practice in harness racing across different regions and governing bodies. These races play an essential role in nurturing the future stars of the sport and ensuring its continued growth and competitiveness.
To be eligible for Vicbred and Vicbred Platinum, breeders must ensure that their mare is bred and foaled in Victoria. This guarantees a First Win Bonus of at least $9,000. If the mare is bred to an Australasian stallion physically standing in Victoria, they qualify for the Vicbred Pure First Win Bonus of $12,000. Consider relocating mares based outside Victoria to a Victorian stud or breeding farm to access all the lucrative benefits of the Vicbred program.
Booking a Vicbred Pure stallion offers the $12,000 Bonus. If the mare isn't brought to Victoria for breeding and foaling, the foal won't be Vicbred Platinum eligible, only receiving an $8,000 First Win Bonus.
Consult the Australasian Standardbred Stallion Guide, a Victorian Stud, Victorian breeding farm, or HBV for assistance with arranging Victoria-based breeding and accessing full Vicbred benefits.
The types of races and events in harness racing can include
a) Pacing races, where horses move with a lateral gait known as pacing and both legs on the same side move forward together.
b) Trotting races, which involve horses moving with a diagonal gait, where the front left leg and the back right leg move forward together, followed by the front right leg and the back left leg.
c) Group races, which are prestigious races and offer higher prize money, attracting top-quality horses and trainers.
d) Various handicap races often based on the horse’s national rating (NR), age, sex or other race conditions that often level the playing field.
e) Feature races, which are major races that can carry significant price money and attract top horses.
f) Futurities, which are races specifically designed for young horses. These races are typically restricted to horses of a certain age group, providing an opportunity for them compete against their own age/gait/sex and to showcase their talent and potential. (ADD LINK)
Competition can vary depending on the horse’s age, fitness level and racing schedule. Harness racing horses typically race on a regular basis, with some participating in weekly races. The trainer, owners and the horses’ individual circumstances will determine the specific racing schedule.
Once a horse is no longer competitive or if you as the owner decide to end their racing careers they can be retired to a more leisurely life. It’s never too early to think about post-race life or the future wellbeing of your horse, even before their racing career begins! If you are struggling to rehome your horse, the HRV Hero team can guide you through options for your horse’s second career.
a) You can follow, engage and learn about harness racing in Victoria through our website thetrots.com.au, which includes our terrific TrotsVision broadcast channel. We are very lucky that TrotsVision broadcasts every Victorian trots race live and free as well as having extended, wall-to-wall coverage on Saturday nights. You can also watch your horse trial via thetrots.com.au’s trials network. See HRV’s website for more. (Harness Racing Victoria (thetrots.com.au))
b) You should also follow Harness Racing Victoria on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can enjoy all the great trots moments and latest information.
For information/requests replays please complete the form at: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/e18cc83f46b44c7d944df0dad7347c08