FORMER Bendigo Jockey Club committee member Briga Fliedner has joined Country Racing Victoria as its newest board member.
The former trainer brings a lifetime of experience in the racing industry to the role, having worked in training, agistment and on racing club committees.
She replaces Seymour Racing Club stalwart Peter Crowe, who served CRV as a board member for ther past six years.
With his position due to expire, Fliedner will need to contest a board position at the Country Racing Victoria annual general meeting later this year.
Fliedner is the wife of Bendigo trainer Shane Fliedner.
But she was an accomplished trainer in her own right, having claimed the Mildura Racing Club premiership in 1996-97.
She was the first female trainer to win the title, but has since handed the training reins to her husband, a former jockey.
Birchip-born Fliedner comes from a family of racing enthusiasts, with links to the sport dating back to the 1930s.
She is the sister of successful Swan Hill trainer Austy Coffey and thw aunt of top country jockey Harry Coffey.
“I absolutely love country racing,” Fliedner said.
“It is an absolutely vital component of the social and economic fabric of so many communities throughout the entire state of Victoria.
“I’ll be doing my best to ensure it stays that way.”
Fliedner served on the Bendigo Jockey Club’s committee for four years and been an active member of the Victorian Wakeful Club - a prominent Melbourne-based club promoting women within the racing industry.
CRV chairman Lance McMillan said Fliedner would be an excellent addition to the board.
“Briga is an exceptional person who has spent a lifetime in racing,” said McMillan, who has been a board member since 2006 and was elected chairman in 2013.
“With her diverse experience in the thoroughbred racing industry, she will bring great expertise to our board and to Country Racing Victoria.
“This appointment improves our board diversity to 25 per cent female representation, which is another step in the right direction.”
Fliedner, who was the first woman elected to the Bendigo Jockey Club board, will fill a casual vacancy on the board after Crowe tendered his resignation earlier this month.
McMillan thanked Crowe for his six years of service.
“Peter has served Country Racing Victoria with distinction over the past six years,” he said.
“We wish him and his lovely wife Toni all the best with their future endeavours.”