Inter Dominion heads to the Goulburn Valley

The best pacers and trotters in the country will be out in Shepparton on Tuesday and Geelong this Saturday, capturing the great racing community spirit that its districts share.

This will be most evident on the second night of ID22 when the carnival comes to the Goulburn Valley.

The Shepparton Harness Racing Club hosted local horses last month when more than 4000 properties in the region were inundated by floodwater.

It also acted as a distribution point for free horse feed for those affected, made available through a Harness Racing Victoria grant.

Club president Chris Hazelman said receiving the chance to host an Inter Dominion selection was recognition of not only the community’s successful efforts during the floods, but also its role in supporting the industry during the lockouts in recent years.

“The Goulburn Valley is the heart of standard racing in Victoria, so it’s important that part of ID22 is staged here,” Hazelman said.

“It is recognition of the role the regions have played during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the survival of the harness racing industry depended on stopping the movement of people between areas.

“Shepparton, like other regional clubs, was asked to hold a further 22 race meetings during this time. Without the clubs playing a role, the industry could have easily shut down.

“ID22 will provide a psychological boost not only to the racing clubs hosting the selections, but also to the wider community. It’s such an important event and I’m confident there will be a great turnout and wider community on Tuesday night.”

Trots Club Victoria chief executive Carl Coady agreed, saying ID22 would benefit clubs and their communities.

“This is a time of year when all eyes around Australia and New Zealand are on sport,” he said.

“The series will demonstrate that Victorian clubs are of the highest standard in terms of infrastructure, the quality of racing and the events they can put on.

“Behind a challenging period where tourism in regional areas has suffered due to both COVID-19 and the recent floods, the ID22 heats will provide a much-needed economic boost and increase both intrastate and interstate visitors.

“Our hope is that ID22’s increased visibility of harness racing will introduce new people to the sport who will become regular visitors to our regional harness racing clubs throughout the year.”

– Greta Burgio

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