Catch Driver to sponsor Cadet of the Year

Harness Racing New Zealand is thrilled to announce that the world’s most innovative harness racing game developer has teamed up with us to support this year’s edition of the Cadet of the Year competition.

‘Catch Driver’ is one of two harness racing games developed so far by Ryan Clements of The Farm Ventures in Canada, whose main initiative is to increase the uptake of youth interest in harness racing on the world stage.

Clements has grown up in and around harness racing. His grandfather raced the great stallion Cam Fella, and whilst he never personally had the chance to see the horse race, he lives on the farm that was home to the stallion during his racing career and is surrounded by memorabilia and constant reminders about harness racing and the joy and elation it can bring.

“We are beyond excited to partner with HRNZ in sponsoring the Cadet of the Year. We believe that many of the young men and women we see here competing for the Cadet of the Year will become tomorrow's stars in the sport,” said Clements.

“Our mission with Catch Driver is to engage a younger audience with this incredible sport, so it only makes sense that we partner with the next generation of athletes. We want to wish best of luck to all of those competing- you are the future stars of the sport!”

Clements has led the way in terms of developing his company ‘The Farm Ventures’, and was determined to prove that if you can give people the opportunity to play a harness racing game (either as a Catch Driver or in their other harness racing game, Off and Pacing) they will then take an interest in the sport.

“Most people who love sports are able to play some sort of game where they can get a virtual experience of being involved,” said Clements. “We have developed a game where our players can download the game to their phone for free and drive a horse in a race live against other people from around the world. We even have professional harness racing drivers from around the world playing on a regular basis too meaning fans can race against their idols.”

In the game each driver is randomly drawn a horse, and its best attributes are listed in the build up to the live race. This gives the player a chance to study if their horse is quick off the gate, has a quick sprint or has a lot of stamina.

“The game is purely about the sport and the art of driving a horse to its best strengths. We have no reference to gambling at all in any of our games,” explained Clements.

Fittingly Catch Driver’s sponsorship of Cadet of the Year means they are helping recognize the next generation of harness racing licence holders in New Zealand as the competition showcases the new talent coming through the ranks in the industry.

Following Clements visiting New Zealand last September with Fractional Ownership guru Anthony MacDonald, Catch Driver were also then generous co-sponsors of the 2018 Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup.They are dedicated to continuing to support youth in harness racing worldwide.

In the Cadet of the Year competition, cadets compete at a regional level in a series of tests which incorporate lessons learned through their education in the cadet scheme and also on the job with their employer.

This includes driving a horse to a set time in a time trial without a stop watch, a general knowledge quiz based on previous lessons and a round robin based on harness racing and equine challenges.

Four finalists are found from these heats, who then take part in a grand final round of tests at Addington Raceway on Wednesday 24 July.

The overall winner is announced at the Harness Racing New Zealand Annual Awards ceremony, this year to be held at Addington Raceway on Saturday 28 September. Last year it was won by Ellie Barron of Southland.

Harness Racing New Zealand will announce the four finalists for the 2019 Catch Driver Cadet of the Year this Friday.

We are grateful to The Farm Ventures and their team for their support of the youth of our industry and encourage industry participants to support them by downloading the game and having a go.

Catch Driver is available to download and play free to your phone from all app stores. So give it a try today by visiting 


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