Aussie changes racing season to calendar year

The Australian harness racing season is to undergo a significant change.

Harness Racing Australia (HRA) has announced that it will extend its current season to the end of the year, and from then on the season will run from January 1 - December 31.

On its website HRA says :

“Changing the season permanently to a calendar year is intended to bring about a number of important commercial, marketing and welfare benefits across the industry.

Most noticeably from the outset will be some major changes to the Feature Race Calendar, with the traditionally condensed season-end juvenile features able to be staggered throughout the year, with the space for States and Clubs to build momentum for promotion, wagering, visiting horses and interest in the sport.”

The decision was made by the HRA executive and clearly was not done without considerable debate. It was approved by two thirds of the executive.

The breeding season remains unchanged and will start on September 1 each year.

Harness Racing New Zealand meanwhile says it has no plans to change at this stage, with all three racing codes and TAB NZ aligned with a 31 July year end.

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