Southern Harness launch new digital initiative

Press Release by Southern Harness

Monica Toretto Photography and Southern Harness Racing are excited to announce the launch of a new initiative for our region.

This initiative is aimed at raising the profiles of Southland Trainers and the industry in digital form with a unique perspective. Formulated to showcase each trainer's individuality yet together on one platform as part of the greater harness racing community.

While results on the racetrack are obviously an important feature, the emphasis of this website is not on betting information but rather on a more personal level with the horses and trainers taking centre stage.

Each trainer has the opportunity to add news, photos and video to their section on the website, as well as provide contact information and links to any existing social media accounts.

The biggest surprise could be that this is a free service provided for Southland trainers (and those who regularly race here) with no strings attached, in an age where almost everything comes at a price.

The brainchild of race-day photographer Monica Toretto, in conjunction with Southern Harness Racing, the concept behind the website is not only raise the profiles of trainers and horses, but also provide potential new owners a place to go on a virtual stable tour, find their next champion or contact a new trainer.

The website will also be a welcoming place for existing owners, fans and followers to see photos, video and info on their horses even if they haven't yet set hoof on the racetrack. Links to trainer's existing social media accounts or individual websites are also at their finger tips.

Trainers can update and add to their section anytime (at no charge, yes really!) simply by contacting Monica Toretto. Additionally, any extra photos taken on race-day of horses by Monica, at the stables or elsewhere can also be added as they become available and all photos featured on the website (those taken by Monica) can also be purchased as prints.

Seasoned sport photographer Monica Toretto has just completed her first season as race day photographer for Southern Harness Racing Inc, Gallop South, Southland Racing Club and Otago Racing Club. She has been a professional sport photographer for many years after getting a start in equine photography while living in New Jersey, USA, photographing the likes of Real Desire, Amigo Hall and previous world record holder for mares, Frightening P.

Before a horse injury made her switch to photography full time, Monica was involved in the industry from her late teens onwards. First as stable hand for various harness trainers, track riding thoroughbreds & working in racing stables, then riding polo ponies, working on stud farms and as a stallion groom before returning to study full time to gain her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing. After graduation working in a large animal practice, which was predominately equine, Monica remained involved in one way or another in the racing industry, often juggling two jobs (& two very different worlds).

The return to racing as photographer after some years completely away is like a home coming and now able to combine the two passions (racing & photography), it felt time for her to simply give back to the industry that continues to be a huge part of her life.

With more projects planned, starting with a website to help trainers and therefore do a little bit for the industry seemed like a good place to start.

To be added to the website, update your profile, or to order prints of any of the photos on
the website, please contact:

Monica Toretto
Email: [email protected]
Mobile 0204 113 9512.
Race winning photos can be viewed at:


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