26 March 2013 - Harness Racing farewelled Ron Crimmins today, the former BHRC meber, harness racing trainer, club steward and Race for Fun Club member who passed away last Thursday aged 75 years. There was a Service of Thanksgiving for Ronnie, who had a passion for horses and followed his grandfather Charles Pratt who trained the winners of the VRC St Leger and Moonee Valley Cup into the racing industry. Ron had success as a standardbred trainer and stayed involved in harness racing until he had a stroke.
His most recent passion was to follow Race for Fun Club filly Addy aka Spirit of Bendigo. His children Tony Crimmins and Mary Dempster provided the Words Of Remembrance at today's funeral service in Bendigo.
25 March 2013 - Harness racing journalist, race caller, administrator and trotting enthusiast Bruce Skeggs OAM passed away on 23rd March, 2013, aged 80.
In addition to his work as an MLA in the Victorian Government and later in local government, Bruce worked in many areas of harness racing and was a passionate fan of trotters in particular. Possessing a clear, concise delivery, Bruce Skeggs became widely known for his colourful, accurate and unbiased race commentary. He called a world record 34,000 harness races, including 20 Inter Dominion Grand Finals from 1959 to 1979 and broadcast races in ten different countries. He began his career in journalism working for The Guide in Melbourne, a weekly racing and trotting form guide, and went on to work at The Argus, the Farm and Home magazine (1959 to 1956) before doing brief stints with the Melbourne Herald and the TV Week. He published the Trotting Register from 1960 to 1991, and also edited and published the first Year Book of Australian Trotting in 1960. He was the official on-course commentator for the then Trotting Control Board at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds for many years, and was appointed the Course Broadcaster at Bendigo. He was also the official trotting commentator at the Royal Melbourne Show for 28 years. Bruce was a long standing committeeman of the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club and was President from 1991 to 1997, with his name perpetuated by the running of the annual Bruce Skeggs Trotters Cup. He also served on the Executive of the Victorian Country Clubs Association from 1991 to 1996 and was a foundation member and President of the Caduceus Club. On the international stage, he was a Chairman of the World Publicity and Promotion Committee of the International Trotting Association from 1972 to 1987 and edited the periodical World Trot Press and also developed and promoted extensive International Affiliations for Australian harness racing, particularly in Europe.
He also served as Honorary Public Relations Officer for the AHRC from 1972 to 1997 and the Inter Dominion Harness Racing Council. In 1995 Bruce received the AHRC's Distinguished Service Award, and also a Media Award for Radio Commentaries, and in 1998 he was awarded the Inter Dominion Gold Medal.
He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2000 for service to harness racing.HRV Media
20 March 2013 - Huntly trainer Anthony Crossland will shoot for his biggest payday at the trots when he flies the Bendigo flag in the inaugural Group 1 Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star at Tabcorp Park, Melton on Saturday night. Crossland will be out to qualify two horses, Bellingham and Our Dolly Would for the rich $250,000 Great Southern Star Trot final. In a unique concept two $50,000 elimination heats will be run on the same program as the $250,000 final. The biggest trotting race of its type to be staged in the southern hemisphere, the Great Southern Star has attracted the best local square gaiters as well as horses from Europe and New Zealand. Crossland has had plenty of success with trotters and Bellingham and Our Dolly Would qualified their way into the Elimination Heats. Our Dolly Would has held its form ok since winning its qualifying race, the SA Trotters Cup in January. The 5yo daughter of Artsplace also has a NSW Trotters Oaks victory on her resume. Harness Racing Victoria’s harness racing writer Jason Bonnington said in his Harness Racer Preview of this event that Our Dolly Would is an outsider but she is an interesting runner. “She has plenty of raw speed,” Bonnington said. Since the SA Cup win, Our Dolly Would has been placed fourth to Mister Zion in a Heat of the Australasian Trotting Championships at Ballarat, third to Mister Zion in the Australasian Trotting Championship final at Melton and was a last start third in the Girls On Fire Time Trials at Bendigo. Our Dolly Would has drawn the second row in a tough 1720m $50,000 elimination heat. She counts among her opponents the Kiwi champion Vulcan, the Tim Butt trained 6yo which has been electrifying at its two Melton starts this month, Australia’s number one hope, the Merv Williamson trained I Didn’t Do It, Kiwi warhorse Sovereignty and the USA bred My High Expectations. Bellingham, this season’s Cobram Trotters Cup winner has a tough task but has been assisted by a good front row draw in the first elimination heat. Better performed over a longer distance that 1720 metres, the 6yo Continentalman gelding Bellingham faces the might of top Kiwi Stig as well as European Ridgehead Cahore, the NSW trained Dreamit and Keystone Del as well as locals Earl Of Mot, Aldebaran Shades and Cold Sister. READ related HRV story
11 March 2013 - The spotlight was on the squaregaiters at the Bendigo harness fixture held on Saturday March 9, with the commencement of the Lyn McPherson Memorial Breed For Speed Series for trotting mares over 1609 metres.
The 1st Heat of the Gold Series for T4 or better class went to the outstanding 5-Y-0 Sundon/Insulated mare Aleppo Midas for Shelbourne (Bendigo) trainer Michelle Eastman in a rate of 1-57.4. Driven by Kate Gath, Aleppo Midas from the extreme draw was immediately eased to the tail of the field as the start was effected, with the speedy Orlandos Dream, Shes An Image and Prettylilangeleyes all going forward. With Sparks Ignite trapped three wide, Aleppo Midas latched to her back within a lap, before easing four wide approaching the home turn. Given full rein on turning, Aleppo Midas’ class prevailed as she raced clear to score by 3 metres from the Victoria Trotters Derby winner Jingling Silver which ran home late from near last, with Sparks Ignite producing a top effort to finish third after never
20 March 2013 - Bendigo wa sthe launching pad for European trotter Ridgehead Cahore on Monday night. The Swedish bred son of French bred Buvetier d'Aunoi, Ridgehead Cahore trialled at Lord's Raceway with legendary Scaninavian driver Torbjorn Jansson at the reins, to get back into the Mobile Start draw for Saturday's rich Great Southern Star. His trial was successful but it didn't help him in the ballot box with the star of Europe drawing a back row position in the first elimination heat. Ridgehead Cahore was outstanding for three season between 2009 and 2012 in Sweden and in mid 2012 he was transferred to Norway to continue his career under the guidance og his current trainer Terje Melnas. The seachange was a godsend for the trotter with three big wins coming his way He has won 23 races, trotted a 1:55 mile and earned 1.6 million wedish Kronor. However the 9yo is yet to show his best in Australia, failing twice at Melton.
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