On Tuesday the 13th of July we received a message on our Rabbitohs Radio Instagram, it read-
I’ve just listened to an interview where Darren (Brown) was on the Rugby League Guru podcast and he was saying about his experience winning his first race as a harness driver which I found very cool.
I’m actually a young harness driver myself in New Zealand, my parents are trainers and I bred my first horse and it’s race name is Latrell because I’m a huge fan of not only the Bunnies but of Latrell too.
I was just wondering if there’s a way of letting Latrell know I’ve named a horse after him?
We asked Ben for more information & he obliged…
I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a massive fan of the red and green since I was 8.
My Parents Greg and Nina Hope are harness trainers and they’ve trained over 800 winners. I work for my parents and they train the horses at Woodend Beach which is a small town in North of Christchurch NZ. We quite often train them on the beach which is awesome for the horses.
Myself Ben Hope I’ve been drving for close to 4 years and I’ve won 117 races as a harness driver. I won my first group one win earlier this year which is my career highlight.
I’ve called my horse Latrell because I’m a massive fan of the Rabbitohs and I’ve always loved watching Latrell play even when he was at the Roosters (aka The Evil Empire).
Just like the NRL players, being a harness driver can leave you open to a bit of criticism whether it’s because of a bad drive or angry punters that have lost their money.
I have a received some hate at times, nowhere near as much as what NRL players get because us harness drivers are on a smaller scale but seeing how Latrell deals with hate shows me even the most talented people get it and it’s not your fault you can’t control what people say you can only control how you deal with it.
I haven’t just named my horse after Latrell because he is a special talent but also because of what a top bloke he seems to be like.
My Horse Latrell is two years old he’s had two workouts and he is currently spelling with a view to race him for his first start in the summer.
It was Bens birthday yesterday (Wednesday 14th July) & we have also learned that he’s completing in the NZ Junior Drivers Championships that begin today in Addington races 2 & 4. Ben also told us he likes the chances of his drive in race 9 Markham Eyre.