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Racing NSW bans the practice of leading horses from cars

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Racing NSW has banned the use of vehicles to lead horses in training at racetracks throughout the state, leaving smaller country trainers looking for different ways to get their horses fit.

It has long been an option for trainers, in some cases holding the reins out the window while driving, to get their horses fit, particularly when no rider was available.

James Hatch famously prepared Stoneyrise to win a Country Championships heat leading him off his car on his property at the back of Bourke.

He will be able to continue the practice on private property for now as Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said the ban was only on racecourses.

“We will not allow a practice that is so dangerous to participants, and the horse, to occur on racecourses in NSW. It is a welfare issue,” V’landys said. “It is just an accident that is waiting to happen and shouldn’t be a part of the industry in the 21st century.”

It is understood the NSW Trainers Association is compiling a list of more than 100 horses affected by the rule change as the outcry from bush trainers grows on social media. Upgrade finish at Albury

Albury Racing Club chief executive Mike Wighton is looking forward to finally getting back to consistent racing after more than year of track renovations at the border club.

The track has only held a handful of meetings in the past year as a $1.6 million upgrade took place and will hold its first meeting since Albury Cup day to coincide with the Everest and Caulfield Guineas meeting on October 14.

“We probably could have raced in September, but we just wanted to give the track time to consolidate in the growing period,” Wighton said. “We got the final section of the track finished after the cup meeting and we are using it for trackwork and jumpouts now.

“It has been a long period of work with the help of Racing NSW and the track is looking fantastic. It will be good to get back to racing regularly again.” Charman takes up as CEO

Tweed River Jockey Club secretary-manager Brian Charman will take over the chief executive of Country Racing in NSW.

Charman is set to take up his new role in October, but will be part of the annual country racing conference on September 29 before the country and provincial awards that night. Racing diary

Monday: Kempsey. Thursday: Ballina. Friday: Canberra, Tuncurry. Saturday: Armidale, Collarenebri, Griffith.

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