It’s currently somewhat unusual to hear anyone in the harness racing game speaking about the RIU in positive terms, and with good reason. However, I’ve always believed in giving credit where it’s due.
It seems that it has generally gone unnoticed that, in recent times, there have been warnings instead of fines handed out when a trainer is spotted with or without the notified gear on his or her horse. That also applies to wrong numbers being applied prior to a race. I’m presuming this move comes as a result of action from the HRNZ legal adviser Chris Lange who, when I spoke to him at the Annual Conference, advised that, at a meeting of the RIU that he had recently attended, he had put forward the opinion that issuing fines for a first offence for these infringements was ridiculous.
While fines will still be issued for repeat offenders, and fair enough, it is good to see that some common sense is prevailing in some sectors of our industry. That’s probably no consolation to the hundreds of trainers who have been fined for such petty misdemeanours in the past, but at least it’s a small step in the right direction of all working together, instead of being intent on punishment.