Mini trotters ready to step up to big stage at Inter Dominion

They be small in stature but Queensland’s mini trotters are looking to put in huge performances at next month’s Inter Dominion 2023 Mini Trot Championship.

Eighteen drivers from the Sunshine State’s mini-trotting clubs (the Queensland Junior Harness Racing Association and the Queensland Mini Trotting Sporting Association) will take on participants from across Australia and New Zealand.

The mini trotters will battle it out over the Miniatures, Shetlands and Ponies divisions, with races being run on the final night of the 2023 Inter Dominion at Albion Park on December 16.

Racing Queensland Senior Harness Racing Manager David Brick said he was hoping the local contingent would put on a strong showing on their home track.

“From a Queensland point of view, we’ve got two clubs here and they’re very strong and seeing a lot of growth which is fantastic,” Brick said.

“We’ll have participants from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, New Zealand and of course Queensland so looking forward to welcoming those other states and New Zealand to enjoy our good weather and some good racing.

“We’re looking to bring all the participants together on the Friday before the finals, and we’re going to take them out to Redcliffe for a BBQ for a meet and greet and get the kids to know each other.

“We’re looking forward to that social activity for the kids so they can enjoy the Inter Dominion which is a fantastic race series but also a good social event.”

Brick said the mini trots, which caters for children aged 5 to 17, continued to be an important breeding ground for the next generation of harness drivers and trainers.

Savannah Chalmers (L) with sister Holly after the 2021 Inter Dominion.

“It’s a significant asset of our sport – so many of our young leading drivers and trainers now went through the mini trotters like Angus Garrad, Layne Dwyer just to name a few who are just starting to sprout their wings now,” he said.

“There’s been many others that have done the same and it provides an opportunity for those who want to get involved in the sport to do it from a young age.

“So many of them started at five and are continuing into the industry now so it’s great for our sport and really great that Racing Queensland can help foster that.”

Taking after her older sister, Savannah Chalmers has been racing for four years and will line up in the Shetland and Ponies categories.

Apart from an Inter Dominion title, there’ll also be sibling rivalry on the line when she comes up against sisters Skye and Holly in the Ponies.

The nine-year-old will compete on Courtney’s Crusader in the Shetlands, and is looking to go one better after finishing second at Inter Dominion 2021.

“When I got a pony we started leasing her, and her owner told us she was a really good harness pony so I decided to take her in the Inter Dominion 2021,” Savannah said.

“She’s been winning a few times this year so I reckon we’ll go good on her.”

For the Ponies, Savannah will drive Hurricane Harry who came in fourth in ID21.

Click here to see the full list of mini trots drivers for ID23.

Savannah with Courtney's Crusader.

By Andrew Smith