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    Chairman calls it a day Chairman calls it a day


    A PASSION for community, a positive approach and, above all, a love for the standardbred were defining legacies of Dale Monteith’s service to Harness... Chairman calls it a day

    A PASSION for community, a positive approach and, above all, a love for the standardbred were defining legacies of Dale Monteith’s service to Harness Racing Victoria.

    Having retired as chair after three terms and eight years with the Victorian statutory authority, the racing administrator has reflected on the people and equine athletes who shaped his term.

    “I have enjoyed every moment of my eight-year involvement with Harness Racing Victoria and it has been a privilege to have been able to serve the industry,” Monteith said.

    “The highlight of my time in harness racing has been working with the many genuine and passionate people, having made wonderful new friends, many in regional Victoria. The extent of volunteerism in harness racing sustains our industry and it is something I quickly grew to appreciate, admire and relate to.

    “Thankfully, I also now have a full appreciation of the amazing athlete that is the standardbred horse. It was hard not to be taken by some wonderful racetrack performances, but also the overwhelmingly gentle and kind nature of this amazing breed of horse.”

    That passion continued a long association with racing that was previously heralded through Monteith’s 12-year stint as Victoria Racing Club’s chief executive officer.

    He stepped away from gallops in 2012 and in 2015 was commissioned by then Racing Minister Martin Pakula to audit Harness Racing Victoria. The following year he began his role as Chairman of the authority.

    “The past eight years have seen significant change in the industry,” Monteith said. “This has included a very strong focus by the Board on integrity, animal welfare, governance, risk mitigation strategies and improvements to racing.

    “Important racing initiatives included the change from the annual racing season to a calendar year and the adoption of a National Ratings system, which replaced the previous class system that had contributed to declining wagering and limited racing opportunities. HRV drove these changes at a national level.

    “It was also most satisfying to be able to contribute to the continuation of Australasia’s iconic Inter Dominion series, which was in danger of falling by the wayside.

    “The rescheduling of the Victoria Cup, Derby and Oaks to October to produce our greatest turnover nights, changes to the Vicbred Super Series, Breeders Crown and the Summer of Glory festival all had positive impacts on Victorian harness racing.”

    Racing Minister Anthony Carbines thanked Monteith for his contribution and celebrated his passion for the sport.

    “There have been many achievements in that time, including last year’s deal to secure funding arrangements for Victorian racing after the end of the current wagering licence, just one example of Dale’s ability to work productively with Government,” Mr Carbines said.

    “What I’ll remember most though is Dale’s tireless dedication to the sport and its people, which has taken him from one end of Victoria to the other, and I congratulate Dale on his outstanding commitment to Victorian harness racing and wish him all the best for whatever comes next.”

    Monteith said it was appropriate to now pass the baton on after eight years of service, but reiterated his passion for the sport would be ongoing.

    “I retire from my HRV roles determined to maintain the many associations I formed over the past eight years, including to continue to enjoy racing harness horses with friends and attending many country cups,” he said.

    “I wish to thank all Board members I served with during my eight years and the CEOs, management and staff at HRV and Melton for all their support.

    “I fervently hope harness racing in Victoria has a bright future that enables all participants and stakeholders to continue to enjoy their involvement in this wonderful industry.”

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