SURE, the Queenslanders may have been missing, with COVID restrictions keeping them away from one of the biggest weekends of the year for the mini trotters.
Yet the 2021 NSW Mini Trotting Championships, traditionally run on the Easter Long Weekend, were still labelled a huge success for the young drivers who will be the future of harness racing.
In the absence of the annual State of Origin event, organisers decided to hold a club challenge with one representative from each affiliated club competing for the Mumamia Mia/Smokey Bear Memorial Shield.
Riverina was the successful club with Connor Ward bringing Sunnyside Gem home in first place.
Not disgraced was the Menangle club with Mia Haslam steering Firestorm into second spot while Newcastle-Maitland finished third, thanks to the efforts of
Cassidy Wadley steering Egyptian Dreamer.
A race for the retiring drivers saw Bryson Grima on The Dark Horse defeat Jack Chapple on Teddy’s On A Mission by a narrow margin.
One outstanding feature of the carnival was HRNSW Education and Welfare Manager Maurice Logue doing a presentation on Licensing, Education and Welfare to mini trot participants.
All participants performed incredibly well with the winner of the Maureen Mordue Memorial going to Bullit Proof with Jye Howard Coney aboard beating Flash (Mason Bigeni) and Just Jack (Reba Brown).
The Shetland Division, sponsored by Cobbitty Equine Farm, saw Jye Howard Coney complete a double with defending champion Secret Mission successful.
Placegetters were Sir Eric (George Lee) and Crystal Ball (Mackenzie Gallagher).
The Garrards Horse and Hound sponsored Pony Division was won by Lumberjack Willie for Mia McMillan, who finished in front of Mr Fantangle (Tanner Brown) and Red Corvette (Harrison Wiggins).
The Rebecca Rutland Memorial Champion of Championship was taken out by the bold-striding grey Lumberjack Willie for Mia McMillan.
The NSW Mini Trot Sunday Championships was action packed with some outstanding efforts.
Garrards Horse and Hound sponsored all three finals.
A daring front-running drive saw Ava Turnbull win the Midget Final with Can’t Catch Casper ahead of Sunny Side Gem (Connor Ward) and Flash (Mason Bigeni).
The Shetland Final went to Grant for Ruby McMillan, edging out Cross Em Boss (Amity Cassar) and Captain Oats (Dakota Cormie).
The Pony Final saw a win for Bob On The Run (George Lee) over Cariadus I Speed (Harry McNamara) and Cruiser (Rowan Wiggins ).