UHRA News (8/20) Friday 27 November 2020
The former Chairman of HRNSW asked HRICG at the time to put forward any new ideas that would assist Harness Racing in general - Turnover wise and Participant wise. A former HRICG Chairman had previously put forward the idea of a Swedish Lottery System called V75 (see below) and during last year’s World Driving Championship, World Trotting Conference and Elitlopp (the Melbourne Cup of European Trotting ) the ‘fare paying group’ that were supporting the Australian Representative Todd McCarthy were given an insight as to how Swedish Authorities adopted creative solutions to sustain the Sport as Turnover, also under pressure in Sweden, needed assistance to maintain Prizemoney levels.
US Harness Racing Update journalist Dave Briggs penned an article for his Publication on what he felt US Harness Racing could adopt from Sweden. We set out below some his views and some of our own which we feel could fall under ‘New Ideas’
V75 , V75 , V75
A lottery system built around horse racing, not ping pong balls, is the lifeblood of Swedish racing and is built on a national distribution system that gives the sport outstanding exposure. The V75 (and its sister wagers that require people to pick the winners of multiple races at the track ) is playable in grocery and corner stores throughout the country , watchable on national broadcast television – and regularly covered on sports reports – and is essential for maintaining national interest in horse racing and preserving agriculture as it is for growing handle (turnover).
Dave Briggs also mentioned Softer Track Services and Banked Turns
Other Observations by the ‘fare paying group’
Regulatory – there are no Stewards Towers and the race itself is adjudicated by use of up to date ‘video technology’ and drones. Cost savings !!!
The Track itself – we noted some tracks , for example , rented the infield to Equestrian Organisations to sustain their Prizemoney.
At the World Trotting Conference Australia was , in some circles described as ‘over represented’ and we ask what did we learn from the Swedish experience that could assist us.
As mentioned above , the idea of a V75 was raised several years ago to no avail. The old throw away line of ‘it won’t work here’ or the perceived ‘it’s no good because we didn’t think of it’ needs to be totally discarded in the current climate of competition for the wagering dollar.
If any readers have ‘New Ideas’ UHRA will be pleased to receive, evaluate and relay to HRNSW