The unsung heroes

09 February 2018 | Dean Baring,

Over the last three years I’ve had pleasure of writing a huge number stories that l think people would find interesting or more importantly can add everlasting benefits to the industry.

This piece that I’m typing right now is without doubt the hardest thing I will ever have to try and write, hence these first two lines have taken more than two weeks to produce.

So, I’ve come to the realisation that an honest confession of my thoughts is clearly the best way to attack what I’m trying to get across.

In early 2015 l contacted several states offing my assistance to help raise funds to inject more money into juvenile races that were only open to Australian bred and trained horses.  South Australia after a very rocky start was the only state that displayed any kind of commitment or interest for it’s stakes holders to change and improve the direction that the sport was headed in.

In June 2017 we signed a heads of agreement to push ahead and create Australia’s Greatest Value Race Series and construct the framework for running a boutique sale that would have the highest level of transparency and integrity.  The commitment I signed up for was to gift HRSA and SA BOTRA my time, energy and resources for the first year and to create a template on how to run an event that would deliver results never seen in that state for decades.

Firstly we needed an outstanding sponsor to come forward who’s brand aligned with our model and shared the same principles and values.  Bob and Marilyn Fowler the owners of Allwood Stud came forward instantly and have been truly outstanding with their support and leadership in helping build the series.

SA BOTRA along with all the board members of HRSA have also worked so hard in bringing all the elements needed to run a sale with ground breaking ideas that should have benefits that will flow through to the owners who in turn will be rewarded like the breeders, (who like the owners) need to be our priority in the years to come if our sport is going to survive.  

The unsung heroes that have put so much on the line in my view are the breeders that came forward with entries. Horses that would sell very well in more expensive sales have been entered here because these  breeders have acknowledge the importance of having an industry first event, even though this could come at a substantial financial cost.

Well, after seven months of working through many issues and challenges The Allwood sale is about to happen this Sunday at the Magic Millions site in Adelaide.

When news started getting out about the new sale for horses that would be eligible for South Australia’s first ever Group One race series for 2YO’s The Allwood that will take place at the Magic Millions Sales Complex, Morphettville, SA on Sunday the 11 February.

Plus the added State of Origin 3YO series, which has race series stakes north of $70,000 (for just the 16 fillies that walk into the ring in SA on 11 February 2018), plus the additional 18 fillies from the Shepparton Harness Racing Club (SHRC). I honestly thought we would be over ran by buyers looking to submit registrations to purchase well-bred yearlings that are eligible to race in a fascinating series for a very small investment.  This is clearly not the case with only one interstate buyer having taken up the opportunity to register for a buyers number at this point.  While the talk of this exciting event has been noticeable, it looks like l need to concede that this Sunday could be a massive Bonanza for people looking to secure elite yearlings at very affordable price.

I’m really struggling to understand this, however l also admit if this turns into the greatest value sale for buyers that this country has ever had, then the responsibility for this poor result for the breeders will sit at my feet.

I would like to call on all Harness Racing fans who truly have the sport’s interest at heart and do care about the future of greatest sport of all, to please come forward and support this event. While I may be viewing this from an over cautious position (because the mountain of hours we invested into the concept), I am concerned  for the wonderful breeders that have committed quality yearlings to this event.

For buyers flying in that need any assistance we have  arranged a complementary shuttle service from the airport to the Magic Millions sales complex   service for all buyers. To arrange this service please contact Gary Crocker on 0408 945 755

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