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Australia : Minister meets harness racing s famous white foal.

Minister for Racing Denis Napthine today visited one of Australia s biggest and most successful harness racing studs and inspected the white foal, which has captured the imagination of the industry.

Dr Napthine said Alabar Bloodstock, located in northern Victoria at Koyuga, was a mainstay in Victoria s racing industry as well as key local employer.

Alabar Bloodstock is one of the biggest breeders in the world with its stallions serving 3,240 mares last season alone, Dr Napthine said.

Alabar hosts some of Australasia s most successful harness stallions and is responsible for the breeding of some of the very best pacing horses Australia has seen, including contemporary champion Caribbean Blaster.

Stallions such as Art Major, Mach Three, Courage Under Fire and Grimfromeartoear among others have stamped their mark on Australasia s harness racing, particularly racing at Group 1 level, Dr Napthine said.

Amazingly, horses sired by Alabar Bloodstock stallions comprised more than half the field in last week s New Zealand Cup.

Another potential champion born at the farm recently is the unique white foal, believed to be the first white standardbred foal born in Australia, Dr Napthine said.

The birth of this white standardbred foal is somewhat of a gentic wonder and is rarely seen anywhere in the world.

The sire, Alabar s Courage Under Fire, is brown, and the dam Telern Hilda is a bay, making the colour of the foal quite a surprise, Dr Napthine said.

The foal is not albino and there are great hopes that he will go on to become a champion harness racer.

Dr Napthine said the little white foal was yet to be named and that his naming rights were up for grabs.

The foal s owner, Terry Wait, together with Harness Racing Victoria has opened a competition to name the white foal, Dr Napthine said.

Dr Napthine said Victoria s harness breeding industry, consisting of more than 2,000 full time, part time and hobby breeders, was a key part of the state s regional economy.

The Victorian Coalition Government recognises the contribution of the harness breeding industry to jobs and the economy in regional Victoria and is providing $1.55 million over four years, to the newly established $3.4 million Vicbred Platinum program, Dr Napthine said.

Victoria already leads the nation for breeding pacers and trotters with more than 40 per cent bred here.

The Coalition Government also provides incentive to breed, own, buy and harness racehorses in Victoria and thus grow the industry and its economic benefits.

We want interstate breeders to bring their broodmares to foal in Victoria at places such as Alabar, and create employment and economic stimulus in regional areas, Dr Napthine said.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Nov 19, 2012
Words:463
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