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- for winners of the Inter Dominion see: Inter Dominion Pacing Championship and Inter Dominion Trotting Championship
The Inter Dominion is a harness racing competition that has been contested since 1936 in Australia and New Zealand. The host of the series was rotated between the six harness racing states of Australia and the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The first Inter Dominion was held at Gloucester Park in Perth, Western Australia in 1936.
The 2011 series was held at Alexandra Park in Auckland, with the original venue of Addington in Christchurch deemed unsuitable due to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 series were held at the new Menangle Park Paceway at Menangle a village in the Macarthur region of New South Wales, Australia near Sydney. This was the first time a venue has hosted the event in three consecutive years.
Traditional programming of the series
Traditionally the series was held over a two-week period with three heats held in the first week, over a sprint distance (1,600 metres - 1,900 m), a middle distance (2,100 m - 2,300 m) and a staying distance (over 2,400 m). The trotters series usually had two heats. The scheduling of the distances is usually at the discretion of the host club. At each round of heats there are three races to accommodate the number of horses in the series. The final and consolation are held usually around a week after the final round of heats. The usual distance is a longer distance in excess of 2,400 metres.
Programming of the 2008 Melbourne Series
Harness Racing Victoria proposed a new system for the 2008 series that was accepted by the Interdominion Racing Council that rewards Grand Circuit race winners. Each winner of a Grand Circuit race and the Grand Circuit Champion from the time period from the last Inter Dominion all gain an automatic start in two minimum $70,000 semi finals with the balance to be made up from horse that qualify through heats of at least $25,000 held a week previous. The first five horses in each heat along with the sixth horse in the fastest heat qualify for a minimum $750,000 final. The prizemoney had been originally put to $1,000,000, but due to the dire effects of the equine influenza that crippled the industry the final prizemoney was reduced to $750,000. The trotters series consisted of two semi-finals and a final.
The trotting series was reduced to a simple semi and finals series raced over seven days. The semi finals were of $40,000 and the final was $250,000 which was comparable with previous series.
Programming of the 2009-2017 series
The system used in Melbourne received much criticism and therefore wasn't chosen to be used in the 2009 series on the Gold Coast. The Gold Coast series had two rounds of heats and bonus points for winning major races. The bonus points races are not only include Grand Circuit races in Australia and New Zealand, but also The Graduate at The Meadowlands and the Canadian Pacing Derby, both open age races in North America. The prizemoney was also been raised to $1,000,000 for the final. The trotters series remained as a two semi-final series held in Melbourne.
The 2010 series in New South Wales kept a similar format with no bonus points. The trotters series was again held in Melbourne. The 2011 series at Alexandra Park featured two rounds of heats for both pacers and trotters. A change to the points system saw points awarded only to the top eight placegetters - previously all heat runners earned points.
The 2012 series in Perth returned to the traditional three-heat format, while the trotters series was held in Melbourne, and was discontinued after 2012.
A new tender process replaced the rotation format and New South Wales won the tender to host the series from 2013-2015. However, a new structure saw seven heats run at different racetracks across Australia and New Zealand, with the winners and highest-ranked placegetters contesting a 14-horse final at Menangle.
The 2015-17 Championships were awarded to Gloucester Park, Perth, Western Australia. Gloucester Park planned to run the series over the traditional four night format in December for each of the three years.
Date and time of rotating championships
The rotation of the Championships is fixed annually at a meeting of the Council. It is fixed five years in advance. Historically, it was held in New Zealand once in each four years, but that pattern has been recently broken. The Championships are held once in each racing year at a time and venue approved by the Council by the completion of the Championships in the preceding year. The Grand Circuit race is not held at the same time as the Championships.
- 1936 - Gloucester Park
- 1937 - Wayville Showgrounds
- 1938 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 1939 - Elphin Paceway
- 1940 - Gloucester Park
- 1947 - Gloucester Park
- 1948 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 1949 - Wayville Showgrounds
- 1950 - Melbourne Showgrounds
- 1951 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 1952 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1953 - Gloucester Park
- 1954 - Wayville Showgrounds
- 1955 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 1956 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1957 - Gloucester Park
- 1958 - Wayville Showgrounds
- 1959 - Melbourne Showgrounds
- 1960 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1961 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 1962 - Gloucester Park
- 1963 - Wayville Showgrounds
- 1964 - Melbourne Showgrounds
- 1965 - Forbury Park Raceway (NZ)
- 1966 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1967 - Gloucester Park
- 1968 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 1969 - Wayville Showgrounds
- 1970 - Melbourne Showgrounds
- 1971 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 1972 - Albion Park Paceway
- 1973 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1974 - Gloucester Park
- 1975 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 1976 - Globe Derby Park
- 1977 - Albion Park Paceway
- 1978 - Moonee Valley Racecourse
- 1979 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 1980 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1981 - Royal Hobart Showground
- 1982 - Gloucester Park
- 1983 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 1984 - Globe Derby Park
- 1985 - Moonee Valley Racecourse
- 1986 - Albion Park Paceway
- 1987 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 1988 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1989 - Gloucester Park
- 1990 - Globe Derby Park
- 1991 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 1992 - Moonee Valley Racecourse
- 1993 - Albion Park Paceway
- 1994 - Harold Park Paceway
- 1995 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 1996 - Gloucester Park
- 1997 - Globe Derby Park
- 1998 - Tattersalls Park
- 1999 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 2000 - Moonee Valley Racecourse
- 2001 - Albion Park Paceway
- 2002 - Harold Park Paceway
- 2003 - Addington Raceway (NZ)
- 2004 - Gloucester Park
- 2005 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 2006 - Tattersalls Park
- 2007 - Globe Derby Park
- 2008 - Moonee Valley Racecourse
- 2009 - Gold Coast Parklands
- 2010 - Menangle Park Paceway
- 2011 - Alexandra Park (NZ)
- 2012 - Gloucester Park
- 2013 - Menangle Park Paceway
- 2014 - Menangle Park Paceway
- 2015 - Menangle Park Paceway
- 2015 - Gloucester Park
- 2016 - Gloucester Park
- 2017 - Gloucester Park
A horse shall not start in a race outside the Championships except in a race held after the completion of all qualifying races. The Controlling Body of the State or New Zealand in which the Championships are to be conducted or the Council may request a veterinary surgeon to inspect and provide a report on any horse scratched after final acceptances are declared.
A perpetual trophy is competed for. The conducting Club of the State or New Zealand in which the winning owner resides holds the trophy for a period until three months before the start of the next Inter Dominion Championship. The winner of the Inter Dominion Championship Final is presented with a trophy.
- for a complete list of winners please see: Inter Dominion Pacing Championship
- for a complete list of winners please see: Inter Dominion Trotting Championship
- Inter Dominion Championships, Harness Racing Australia
- Inter Dominion Championship Series - Rotation Program, Harness Racing Australia
- Destination NSW, Sydney and NSW secures the Inter Dominion for three years
- Interdominion to return to Perth, The West Australian, September 17, 2014
- 2009 Watpac Inter Dominion Official Site
- Rotation Program - Inter Dominion Championship Series
- Queensland Harness Racing Homepage - Host state for 2009 Inter Dominion