People power lands Dannielle Veivers in Trot Rods finale

Queensland reinswoman Dannielle Veivers.

Queensland reinswoman Dannielle Veivers has applauded her social media friends and loyal followers after voting her into the Trot Rods finale night for 2023.

The 27-year-old become the female driver voted into the five to participate next Wednesday evening, alongside young gun Angus Garrard, who was voted in amongst the men.

Veivers was involved in a spirited voting process with Chloe Butler for the female spot in the Trot Rods decider, with the pair snaring almost 500 more votes than the third-placed vote-getter.

Veivers held on to win with 538 votes with Butler just being beaten at the winning post with 535.

Veivers – who juggles her driving commitments alongside motherhood – said there was a determined push by her friends and followers to land her in the Trot Rods show-piece evening.

“I shared it on all of my social media’s almost every day and everyone got behind me,” Veivers said.

“I think there were a few people that did not realise you could vote every day but I had to remind everyone.

“They kept sending me messages with me in front of the voting and saying that they had put me in the lead.

“Then next minute, Chloe Butler would be back in front as she would get people to vote for her.

“It was pretty exciting as you did not know which way it was going to go in the end.”

Veivers and Garrard will be joined on Wednesday evening at “The Triangle’ alongside leading drivers Nathan Dawson, Pete McMullen and visiting Victorian James Herbertson.

Garrard beat out Leonard Cain by 32 votes to book his place in the decider.

The five selected drivers will drive in each of the 10 heats on the Trot Rods Finale’ night on Wednesday at Redcliffe.

The five drivers will select their horses they will drive on Wednesday night at a special “Driver Draft” on Monday.

The drivers will get the chance to pick their drives after the fields have been drawn in a draft style selection process.

Drivers will get the chance to choose first, second, third, fourth and fifth.

Queensland reinswoman Dannielle Veivers.

Queensland reinswoman Dannielle Veivers.

The pre-determined order was created through a random ballot.

The Driver Draft will take place at Albion Park on Monday night and be broadcast live on Sky Racing 2.

Veivers – who will be driving in a Trot Rods finale for the first time in her career – is excited be a part of the “Driver Draft”.

“It is pretty cool,” Veivers said.

“It will be a hard one choosing drives but it is a good concept, I think. It will be pretty fun.”

Star interstate reinsman Cam Hart stole the prize from the local drivers behind Just Dessy in the 2022 finale of the popular series.

Top Victorian reinsman Herbertson will be aiming to do the same this year.

“It’s a great initiative really – we’re in a different state but each time it comes around we make sure we watch that Final night and try and catch the heats the few weeks before it,” Herbertson said recently.

“All the technology that they use, from a viewer’s point of view it’s a great insight into what we’re dealing with and all the little things that can go wrong and go right.

“It opens people’s eyes up that it’s not just jumping on and hitting the go button, there’s a lot of little things that go into it. It’s a really good initiative.”

Away from Trot Rods, Veivers has been pleased with how her 2023 campaign has progressed so far, driving mainly for her husband trainer Ryan.

Ryan has trained 20 winners so far while Dannielle has 17 to her name.

The team have a number of chances across the program at Redcliffe’s Friday afternoon meeting.

“We are going pretty good,” Dannielle said.

“We have got a number of new ones coming through the stable so we are just working them all out at the moment.”

Ahead of the Trot Rods finale evening, the Grant Dixon-trained and driven Aroda currently holds the fastest time of the series at 64.6 seconds, which was posted in the fifth heat earlier this month.

Hart and Just Dessy claimed last year’s series 63.46 seconds, the fastest sprint around Redcliffe ever recorded in the Trot Rods concept.

The Trot Rods series is raced over the unique 947-metre distance – one of the shortest in the world – with a $10,000 cash bonus and Otto Tuza 3 horse float on offer for the quickest lap across the 20 heats.

James Herbertson (right) with father Ashleigh. Photo: Horsham Harness Racing Club.

Click here for more information on Trot Rods.

By Jordan Gerrans