The NZ Harness Racing Trainers & Drivers Assn. has been approached by the RIB and HRNZ, voicing their concern at drivers talking and laughing during race preliminaries and pre-race assemblies, suggesting that such behaviour reflects badly on the professionalism of participants.
Sooner than having to face the possibility of a Rule being introduced to cover this issue, with associated fines and/or suspensions, which the Association does not support, we are requesting that drivers be aware of the situation and act accordingly, restricting any conversations to strictly necessary ones.
While there is some thought that these restrictions are tantamount to treating drivers as school children, it should be remembered that license-holders are reliant on turnover from the wagering public, and any perceived reason, whether it be valid or not, for them not to bet on our Industry, has a flow on effect on stakes and percentages.
In addition, for the same reasons as above, it is critical that, whenever possible, races should start on time, therefore it is vital that drivers should be in the cart and in correct number formation at the designated time, and should obey the instructions of the Starter at all times.