HARNESS racing – where you can be ultra-competitive, have arch rivals, even enemies, but when it comes to the crunch, the industry is one big family.
That scenario is never more evident than when one our own needs assistance.
Be it devastated by bushfires, broken equipment or ill-health, the sport’s participants rally from all over Australia – even if they don’t personally know the individual they’re helping!
With the shocking news of 14-year-old Connor Clarke’s battle spreading between racing camps during the past fortnight, fundraisers have been organised throughout the nation to help the family.
For example, numerous New South Wales drivers have donated their driving fees and a percentage of their winnings to the young Victorian.
Industry identity Donna Moss organised an online Auction, which consisted of 41 items and raised $13,261 when bidding closed during the weekend.
The ‘big ticket’ item of the auction was a service to Bling It On, which is poised to enjoy his debut stud season at Cobbitty Equine Farm in New South Wales.
Bling It On was sidelined after crashing to the track as a result of interference at Albion Park a month ago when looming as the winner.
As such, the exceptionally-bred performer will head to stud with a record of 24 wins and 17 placings from 77 starts for earnings of $1,591,076.
A multiple Group One winner, Bling It On’s victories include the A G Hunter Cup, Gold Coast Cup, Australasian Breeders’ Crown, Queensland Nursery and Queensland Derby.
Highlighting how wide-spread the care for Connor has reached – the Victorian auction of a New South Wales stallion was purchased by Western Australian breeder Kody Charles!
“It is such a good cause and something we wanted to help support,” Charles said. “We’re a family business too, so happy to help support another family.
“Bling It On will now have his first Western Australia service booked.”
A keen pony trot competitor, Connor is battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which requires an 18-week course of treatment for lymphoma.
As such, the teenager has been admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital, meaning he is an hour-and-a-half away from his family and friends.
If you wish to donate and support Connor’s battle you can do so via this link https://www.gofundme.com/connors-cancer-journey-rocket