A generous donation to support the HERO Program has provided a fitting finale to Harness Racing Victoria’s International All Star Series.
The program, which promotes life after racing opportunities for retired standardbreds, will benefit to the tune of almost $2000 thanks to the goodwill of visiting North American reinsmen Brett Miller, Corey Callahan and Yannick Gingras.
The trio announced at the conclusion of the 22-race drivers' series, which wound up on March 12, they would donate 25 per cent of their collective stake earnings to HERO, equating to $1980.49.
An identical donation was made to the Women’s Cancer Foundation – Ovarian Cancer Institute’s #GetRealSupportTeal fundraising campaign.
“It was such an incredibly thoughtful gesture and one which came quite out of the blue,” HERO Manager Tanya McDermott said.
“It was obvious to everyone who met the US contingent over the course of the week that they were a fantastic group of people and their contribution, both to HERO and the Women’s Cancer Foundation, speaks volumes for their character.
“We know harness racing has a strong sense of community locally and it was touching to see that the industry’s friendship and camaraderie extends worldwide.”
As a part of the week-long International All Star Series itinerary, the partners of the participating drivers visited the HERO Program and enjoyed a 12km trail ride.
Seven retired standardbreds with career earnings totalling $1,504,000 (and at varying stages of their saddle re-education) took part on the day, headlined by the HERO Program’s official equine ambassadors Villagem and Franco Heir.
“The horses behaved impeccably and the girls had a ball, it was a fantastic demonstration of life after racing,” McDermott said.