Industry Notice: Things to remember during Harness Racing Winter Carnival

Out of competition blood testing will be randomly conducted at stables weekly throughout the 2023 harness racing Winter Carnival, as the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) steps up its compliance measures.

Chief Harness Steward David Farquharson said the efforts are part of the Commission’s ongoing commitment to animal care and racing integrity and will aid preparations for December’s high-profile Inter Dominion event.

“We are looking forward to working with you to create a successful, exciting, and smooth-running Winter Carnival this year,” he said.

“We strongly encourage all participants to be aware of the new and existing compliance measures that will be in place throughout the carnival, as well as being familiar with the Rules of Racing.

“As part of our ongoing substance control strategy, we will be testing for permanently banned substances throughout Winter Carnival using a variety of methods.”

In addition to blood testing, QRIC has increased the volume of hair samples collected outside of race days, with Group 1 runners and other randomly selected runners to have hairs samples collected at their stables.

This year, all Group 1 horses are required to arrive two hours prior to racing to assist QRIC staff with pre-race testing and regulatory measures.

Mr Farquharson said participants should be reminded that there is an expectation during racing carnivals that industry dress standards are elevated to reflect the profile of the event.

“We ask you to embrace the opportunity to create a high level of professionalism throughout this event, which features not only on the Queensland stage but internationally through broadcast coverage,” he said.

“In an exciting development, for the first time, three of the premier Queensland Constellations meetings were showcased by Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“With the extra coverage in mind, we ask you to please help us to promote the positive image of harness racing in Queensland by wearing smart and formal attire when attending Winter Racing Carnival events.”

All eyes are on Queensland during this year’s Winter Racing Carnival as we prepare to host the iconic Inter Dominion event, which makes its long-awaited return to the Sunshine State at the end of the year.

Participants from interstate and New Zealand will descend on southeast Queensland, in search of a win at Albion Park meetings throughout December.

Preparations are already underway to accommodate and adjudicate the Inter Dominion meetings.

The team at The Creek has been working hard, with steps currently being taken to establish extra stabling space at the Albion Park Raceway.

The Inter Dominion has not been held in Queensland since the 1970s.

This will be the last opportunity for the country’s best pacers and trotters to go for glory at the iconic Albion venue, with harness racing activity soon to be relocated as part of Queensland’s preparations for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.

In addition to a show of some great pacing and trotting talent, this will be an opportunity for us to celebrate The Creek’s rich racing history over the decades.

Participants are encouraged to contact QRIC stewards with any questions about Winter Racing Carnival or the Inter Dominion by emailing