Pete Harnden

It is sad that going into 2018 we don’t have a trainers championship meeting on the agenda.  As such I would like to invite any interested tracks and sponsors to contact me to attempt to salvage the trainers championship for this year. 
The six trainers who worked so hard to get themselves to the top of our training ladder deserve their event and we shouldn’t rest until they get it. 
I have spoken with my colleagues at the GBGB and we would very much like to support this event and I hope we can salvage it before the year progresses too much.

Towards the back end of last year it was good to see Mark Wallis speaking up so vocally about prize money , particularly prize money in open races and also with regard to open race trainers receiving the same runner payments as locally attached trainers. 

Myself and Pat Rosney in particular have been long time advocates of this and with the added voice of the champion trainer championing the cause , we are finally looking like getting somewhere.  Slowly but surely tracks are increasing their prize money and are paying visiting trainers a fair amount. 

I’ve aired my view elsewhere that I don’t believe it right to demand £250 minimum from every track in the land. Despite what some people believe, not all tracks are flowing with riches and imposing such an amount on tracks, well it might see some small term gain but would undoubtedly lead to a long term loss , for trainers , for owners and everybody else with a vested interest in the future of the sport. 

That said there is no excuse for any track to be paying just £100 for winning any kind of open race at all , yet that is what we were still seeing at Harlow this week.  In this day and age that is simply not acceptable.  I wouldn’t  run my dogs in open races for such a paltry amount.  Support for these races being run for such an amount will only lengthen the period of time that we are asked to put up with this. 

My support of an independent track inspector has been widely publicised.  Finding the ideal candidate will be difficult.
The welfare of our dogs is absolutely paramount.  As such, the successful candidate will need to have shown over many years in the sport a huge understanding of how a track should be prepared under a variance of conditions and how to prevent it from becoming unsafe when faced with adversity.
Quite simply they need to have worked at the highest level , under the highest pressures and shown themselves capable of facing all of that and still showing themselves in a positive light. This is not a job you can learn by trial and error.
Later this month sees the annual GBGB Awards.  This year being held at the Park Plaza hotel.  I look forward to meeting up with my fellow trainers on this evening.  It is a night when everybody can enjoy a well earned drink and generally have a good time after a year of dedication and hard work.
Please don’t forget, any trainer needing my help or support on any issue, please get in touch. I can’t promise to work miracles but I will support you to the best of my ability.