Harness racing will soon return to normal at Stawell, after the industry's governing body ended a region-based designed to negate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the regional structure, Stawell hosted more meets as the number of tracks in operation was reduced to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus.
HRV adopted the landmark structure in April, which saw the state divided into six regions and meets hosted at nine tracks - Inner West (Melton and Ballarat), West (Terang and Stawell), East (Kilmore and Cranbourne), North West (Mildura), Central (Bendigo) and North East (Shepparton).
Northern Grampians and Wimmera trainers were assigned to the West region and spent the past three months competing at Stawell and Terang.
While, Harness Racing Victoria moved out of the regional model on July 1, meets will still be restricted to the nine designated tracks for a two-week transition period. All tracks in the state will open on July 13.
Stawell's next race is scheduled for July 8.
Ararat will welcome back trainers on July 18. Horsham has not been allocated a race for the rest of the month and will wait with bated breath for the release of August's racing calendar.
Locked down since April 2, HRV today welcomes back regular racing.— The Trots (@TheTrotsComAu) July 1, 2020
While strict #covid19 measures remain in place, it's nice to return to some normality and to the stars, staff, owners, fans and all connections who continue to do the right thing #thetrots says 'Thank You'. pic.twitter.com/pTptTZbsLS
Harness Racing Victoria general manager of racing Stephen Bell said the industry had united to combat coronavirus' effect on harness racing.
"As an industry we should be immensely proud of what we have achieved during regional racing," he said.
"To be in a position today to deliver competitive fields and a quality metropolitan program straight out of regional racing is a considerable achievement and I congratulate the HRV Racing Office, HRV staff, clubs and their staff and of course the participants."
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