By Melissa Bell - Standardbred Association Queensland
The 2020 Queensland Standardbred Track to Hack series promotes standardbreds as pleasure horses upon their retirement from their traditional role of harness racing.
2020 saw the fourth series of its kind run in Queensland, which focuses on the transition made from harness racing into show horse for retiring standardbreds.
The series has been successfully running for the past five years in the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Associations across the country, with full support from each state’s Pricipal Racing Authority.
Queensland are proud to be a part of this inaugural series, thanks to the support of our major sponsors, Racing Queensland and Hygain.
This series is designed to help promote the standardbred as a successful and athletic horse that can excel in a variety of performance and show disciplines, and creates opportunities for an alternative lifestyle outside of racing.
After all eight qualifying Agricultural Shows throughout the 2020 Queensland Show Season were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The SAQ Events Committee co-ordinated individual video entries to replace these shows so that combinations could still qualify for the finals.
Although our numbers were down somewhat this year due to the pandemic, The Standardbred Association Queensland were extremely proud to be able to present the 2020 Queensland Standardbred Track to Hack Series Final during these uncertain times, especially when many equestrian events were cancelled throughout Australia during 2020.
We would like to thank our 2020 Queensland Standardbred Track to Hack Sponsors – Racing Queensland and Hygain, who were eager to support this concept once again this year.
The 2020 series was open to any standardbred registered with Harness Racing Australia or New Zealand and was originally bred for the purpose of harness racing.
To be eligible to compete in the Queensland Standardbred Track to Hack Series, all horses are required to be three-years and over.
Horse and owner/exhibitor must reside in Queensland and have done so for minimum of three months.
Judging was done by a panel of three judges, combining both a designated led and a ridden workout.
The judging panel awarded a champion for each of the eight online video opportunities.
There was strict criteria for the workouts, including demonstrating a balanced trot and the canter gait with correct leads.
Only scores of above 85% were considered, which enabled only well-educated combinations entry to the finals.
Seven horses qualified for the finals this year, but unfortunately two horses were scratched prior to the finals.
Hopefully we will see these combinations at our 2021 Series and Final!
The 2020 Queensland Standardbred Track to Hack Series Finalists were:
- Maxine Murphy and Bye Factor
- Jenny Holloway and Als Blue Boy
- Amelia Dalton and Vision Of Dubai
- Felicity Reinke and Everydays A Sunday
- Amy Cargill and My Wingman
- Maxine Murphy and Left To Ponder (scratched)
- Dawn Goodall and Italian Dream (scratched)
The Series Final was held during the evening of Saturday, September 19, 2020 at the Gatton Show Grounds' indoor arena.
The judges for the Final were Rosslyn Stratford and Gordon McCrae.
All finalists were asked to perform an individual led workout (conformation and correctness), and an individual ridden free workout to music.
All horses were judged in individual sections and awarded points which determined the Top five combinations.
Racing Queensland’s representative - newly appointed Animal Care Manager, Kim Duffy - assisted our judges to sash the Best Presented Horse and top five finalists.
2020 Queensland Standardbred Track to Hack Series Final results:
Best Presented Combination: Maxine Murphy and Bye Factor
Overall winner of the 2020 Queensland Standardbred Track To Hack Series:
Felicity Reinke and Everydays A Sunday (pictured right)
Runner Up: Amy Cargill and My Wingman
Second Runner Up: Maxine Murphy and Bye Factor
4th Place: Jenny Holloway and Als Blue Boy
5th Place: Amelia Dalton and Vision of Dubai
Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, and to all combinations that participated in our 2020 Queensland Standardbred Track to Hack Series and Final.