Pelling to testify in Brooks trial this month
February 05, 2010
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Brett Pelling will be back in the US next week after being subpoenaed to give evidence at the trial David Brooks and will use the time to further explore a possible return to training. Speaking from his home in Perth, Australia, Pelling said after four years out of training, he had the hunger back.
But he hastened to add the U.S. would only be an option if the Meadowlands was assured of a strong and vibrant future.
Pelling, who is due in the U.S. on Feb. 13, said he was closely monitoring developments with a newly assembled commission to study horse racing and New Jersey’s sports and entertainment industry.
“If they allow gaming at the Meadowlands, I’m on the first plane back there,” he said. “To me the Meadowlands is the backbone of harness racing in the States. It’s what it’s all about – the big show. It can’t be duplicated.
“Can you imagine racing in the US without the Meadowlands?”
Pelling, 51, said a trip across to last year’s Hambletonian week fuelled his desire for a return to training in the U.S.
“I had a magic week with some great people. It really sparked things for me,” he said. “I had 26 years in the States from when I was 19, so my way of thinking is pretty American.
“I’ve met some people from past in recent times and I’ve found myself asking what I’m doing. I miss the camaraderie and the routine of the system with harness racing in the States.”
Pelling has resisted urges to try training in Australia because he doesn’t think the rewards are big enough.
“I don’t see where the big score is in Australia,” he said. “They seem to train here (Australia) because they love doing it, but in the States it’s all about getting and making stallions.”
But Pelling says his time out of the game has given him greatest perspective on life.
“As successful as we were in the States, I think I got caught in a bubble,” he said. “I’d never have 50 or 60 horses in work again, probably just 20 to 25. The last few years in Perth have shown me what it’s like to have a life .”
One of Pelling’s new passions is cycling and it will take him to France to ride the Tour de France course later this year.
“I’m part of a group who will ride the course three days ahead of the race itself,” he said. “It’s been a huge training process, but I’m really excited about it.”--By Adam Hamilton