Australian Harness Racing Awards
Merit Awards
AHRC Press Release 19th November 2004

Merit Award Chronicles

At Councilís Annual General Meeting in Sydney on 19th November 2004, the following National Awards were given for outstanding achievement.  Those honoured are:

AHRC Distinguished Service Awards

This national award recognises that the harness racing individual's contribution fulfills a range of criteria including important achievement(s), substantive effort, enterprise, endeavour and creativity, together with professional excellence at a National or State level over a long period of time.  Awards were made to:

Mr George Aiken of Kensington, NSW
George Aikenís lifetime involvement has focussed on the sales, marketing and breeding areas of our industry with involvement in the Australian Pacing Gold and other Sales Auctioneering Events. He was extensively involved in the importation of Stallions and export of racehorses to the American Continent for many industry participants. He raced True Roman amongst other horses. In addition, his administrative contribution occurred on the Committee of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club in the early 1980ís. 

Dr Diane Ryan of Thirlmere, NSW 
Dr Diane Ryan was a Member of the Board of Harness Racing New South Wales between 1995 and 2002. In this role, she served in the roles of Deputy Chair and on the Regulatory Committee. In addition, she represented Harness Racing New South Wales as an Accredited Representative on the Australian Harness Racing Council. Here, she was a key Member of the Artificial Breeding and the Review of Prohibited Substance Sub-Committees during regular reviews of the National Rules.  As a result of her corporate background, animal welfare experience and veterinary knowledge, she successfully chaired the TC02 Review and presented an international paper for Australia at the World Trotting Conference in Finland.

AHRC Meritorious Service Award

The Australian Harness Racing Council has initiated a program of national recognition with an emphasis on Studmaster recognition in conjunction with AHRC Members and the State Members of the Australian Standardbred Breeders Association. This initial group of awards reflects the important role and contribution that the Studmaster has made in the Australian breeding of Standardbreds. Others will follow in the future. Those honoured are: 

Mr R.J. Vanstone, Riawara Stud, Williamstown, SA
Mr L. Plunkett, Berriedale Stud, Westbury, Tas
Mr M. & Mrs S. Lichtwark, Goldrush Lodge, Biddeston, Qld
Mr J.L. Gibson, Success Stud, Young, NSW
Mr R. Vandyke, Peppertree Farm, Cowra, NSW
Mr G. & Mrs L. Ward, Lynrose Stud, Katunga, Vic
Mr A. Galloway, Alabar Farms, Echuca, Vic

As the retiring Chairman from Council, I wish to personally congratulate the Award recipients for their contribution to the Australian Harness Racing Industry. 

I wish you all well in the future. 

Mick Lombardo

19 November 2004.

Also presented in same year:  

Excerpt from AHRC Press Release 29th March 2004


Mick Lombardo, President of the AHRC announced that Peter VíLandys has been awarded the AHRC Distinguished Service Award for his long term achievement as an administrator in New South Wales being the Chief Executive Officer of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club.  Mr VíLandys has spent 15 years with the Club at Harold Park. In that time, his achievements include: 

  • The profitable operation of the many facets of the New South Wales Harness Racing Club.
  • Its establishment as a Registered Gaming Club.
  • The completion of a $25m development establishing the Club at the forefront of Australiaís metropolitan Club facilities.
  • A range of marketing initiatives including the current award winning 10/30 promotional nights.

In the broader State-wide scene Peter VíLandys was an essential member of the privatisation team in negotiations with the New South Wales State Government which secured an additional $6 million per annum for the racing codes. Additionally, he has been involved as a negotiator in other areas involving Sky Channel, TAB Limited and New South Wales Racing. He also contributed extensively to the New South Wales Harness Racing TAB Clubs Association. 

Nationally, under his Chairmanship, the Australian Pacing Gold Sales Series has become Australiaís Premier Standardbred Sale. As well, he was effective at the national level in the operations of the Australian and Inter Dominion Harness Racing Councils. 

In conclusion, the AHRC President Mick Lombardo thanked Peter VíLandys for his contribution at both the State and National levels wishing him every success in his new role within the New South Wales Thoroughbred Racing Code as Chief Executive Officer of Racing New South Wales.  

Mick Lombardo

29 March 2004

For Awards information pre-2001 refer to the Australian Harness Racing Annual

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