Counties Racing Club will soon be posting Invitations to all Owners of Horses that raced at a Counties meeting during the 2009/2010 season to attend a special Owners Function at their race meeting on Sunday 19 September 2010. Food will be supplied throughout the day with a subsidised bar in operation.
I thought it would be a good time to wade through the funding policy for the new season starting 1st of August and focus on the bits Owners are going to be most interested in. I’ve put it into a Q&A format;
Q. How much funding is being made available to all three codes from the NZ Racing Board (NZRB)?
A. The NZRB have indicated that an amount of $110m in funding will be paid out and divided between the three codes in 2010/2011. This compares to $105m in 2009/2010 and $121m in 2008/2009 excluding additional surplus or dividend payments. Approximately $63m of the $110m will come to our code.
Q. What will happen to thoroughbred funding and stakes for next year?
A. Largely they stay the same. NZTR is increasing funding for industry days and pushing up top-end race prizemoney through some small reductions at the bottom end. The funding policy for the previous 12 months was extremely aggressive. However due to two key factors; the down-turn in wagering (due in part to the global economic crisis) and secondly severe cuts in gaming trust income, the overall projected income was well below projected figures for that period. NZTR paid out all its reserves this season to top up reductions in funding and additional financial pressure being felt by racing clubs. These reserves are now exhausted. NZTR has no choice but to limit pay out to the industry to what it receives in funding from the NZRB.
Q. Why are the Industry Day Maiden minimums higher in the South Island compared to the North?
A. NZTR’s Funding Policy has adopted differing philosophies for the North Island and South Island. The feedback from stakeholders in the South Island was that $6k minimums were important to retain interest in horse ownership in the region. South Island maiden horses have 1-2 opportunities per week to run and often only at Industry Days. However, horses in the North have the advantage of 2-3 opportunities per week and consistent choice between Industry Day and Feature Day Maidens.
Q. What’s happening with NZTR’s free racing policy? Is it staying?
A. Yes, it is staying. While we have had amend the categories slightly it stays in place. The amendments have taken place at the top of the range of races from Rating 80 to Open races, where horses also have the opportunity to run for the highest stakes. Owners of horses competing in these races will be charged $50 (plus GST) for nomination fees and 0.75% of the total race stake, plus GST, for acceptance fees. The owners of more than 80% of horses will still have the opportunity to run their horses for free in races run at Rating 75 level and below. NZTR will continue its policy of paying Jockeys’ riding fees on behalf of Owners, which represents savings to Owners of approximately $2.9m per year.
Q. What were the key aims of the 2010-11 model?
A. NZTR has shifted away from funding clubs using off-course wagering turnover and a range of other payments, to one that simply provides minimum prizemoney to racing clubs for each meeting and race category. This will make it easier for racing clubs to plan their race programmes, ensure they are fully funded irrespective of the day that they are racing on, and provide a consistent prizemoney structure for each individual race class and meeting category for Owners, Trainers and Jockeys.
What you need to know about Backs vs. Sacroiliac problems preventing horses winning and Doping vs. Medication during competition. Guest speaker is Professor Leo Jeffcott.
Venues and Dates
Matamata Sunday August 15 August, Matamata Club Inc.
Palmerston North Wednesday 18 August, Awapuni Racecourse
Invercargill Friday 20 August, Ascot Park Hotel
Christchurch Sunday 22 August, Riccarton Racecourse
Auckland Thursday 26 August, NZ Bloodstock's Karaka Sales Complex
Each session starts at 1.00pm & closes not later than 5.30pm. Registration fee $45.00
For further information and registration enquiries, contact Bev Stern:
Ph 06 356 4940
Fax 06 354 2885
NZTR has recently held workshops around the country canvassing industry feedback on possible alternate Governance structures for itself - in the event it’s One Racing initiative does not gather support from the Harness and Greyhound codes. Up for discussion were all aspects of governance including the composition of the NZTR board, its appointment process, terms of service and membership of NZTR.
Currently the NZTR board consists of 10 representative members being 6 regional club seats elected by respective clubs within the North, Central and South regions; 3 sector organisation seats appointed by the Owners, Breeders and Trainers representative bodies; and 1 small clubs’ seat elected by small clubs (1-3 licences).
To get discussion going, NZTR tabled a number of possible board composition models that were either fully representative (i.e. along current lines with club and sector organisation representatives); fully non-representative (i.e. individuals with a mix of industry knowledge and commercial skills, not specifically representing a club or sector organisation); or a mix of the two.
While the fully non representative structures were given a good hearing, they may prove to be too great a step for many industry participants to contemplate in one move and/or at the current time. Options that involved a mix of representative and non representative board members therefore appeared to gain most support.
To accommodate the introduction of non representative board members while keeping the NZTR board size to a number that will remain effective, fewer representative members would be required. This led to considerable debate as to whether existing club or sector organisation representation should reduce. As has often occurred in the past, some club representatives argued for the removal of sector organisation representation, contending that as most racing club membership ranks include Owners, Breeders and Trainers; there is no need for any of these sectors to be represented separately. Another suggestion was that sector organisations could be represented regionally at the cluster level rather than on the NZTR board.
The Racehorse Owners Federation strongly disagrees with both suggestions. While it recognizes many industry participants such as Trainers, Breeders and Race Club committee members regularly have ownership interests in racehorses, the Federation believes it is fundamentally important for all owners – being the suppliers and financiers of the underlying racing product – to have effective independent representation that is clear of potential conflicts of interest that can and do arise between the interests of Owner’s and those of Trainers, Breeders and Race Clubs.
A criticism of representative structures is they sometimes result in decisions being influenced by parochial positions or self interest rather than being driven by what is in the best interests of the industry. While there are undoubtedly examples of where this has been true, particularly at a regional or club level involving race dates, the Owners Federation believes Owner representation is less prone to similar conflicts of interest as it has a national (rather than regional) focus and an obligation and desire to represent all owners. While it is relatively easy to imagine initiatives that are in the best interests of the industry but have an adverse impact on a particular region or club, it is much more difficult to imagine initiatives that are in the best interests of the industry that will not also be in the best interests of all owners.
The need for there to be an industry voice representing the interests of owners is well established and indeed is recognized in statute. The Owners Federation believes NZTR has a responsibility to ensure that owner representation is nurtured so that it can continue to exist. Any removal of owner representation could therefore only be a backward step.
NZTR is an incorporated society. Its members are currently limited to registered Race Clubs, with the number of race day licences held determining the number of votes each Race Club can cast. Sector organisations (Owners, Breeders & Trainers) are currently not members of NZTR and therefore cannot influence the outcome of any matter that requires a change to NZTR’s constitution.
This situation was recognized as an anomaly in NZTR’s 2009 Governance Review which stated “The present structure does not reflect the pattern of industry participation and influence. It is a “club-centric” structure when racing clubs are only one service delivery component of the industry (via the provision of venue and related services)”.
To address this anomaly, the Governance Review recommended “That the membership base of NZTR be broadened to include a second category of Members to be known as “Industry Members” (or similar). Industry Members would be properly constituted industry associations representing the ‘investment’ side of the industry, namely owners breeders and trainers.” and “The Industry Members category to have a voting strength equal to not less than one-third of the total number of votes able to be cast at a meeting of both classes of Members.”
The Racehorse Owners Federation sees merit in the membership of NZTR being broadened to include meaningful representation of these significant industry stakeholder groups and looks forward to the continued discussion of this among industry stakeholders.
If you agree with the views expressed in this article, we encourage you to make a brief submission to NZTR supporting the retention of the Owner representative on the NZTR board and commenting on the inclusion of the three sector organisations in the membership of NZTR.
The NZ Racing Hall of Fame kiosk exhibition will be viewed by thousands of people next week at the National Fieldays event at Mystery Creek (Hamilton). The kiosk will be located at the foyer area of the Main Pavilion and is a “must see” if you are at the event. This is a wonderful opportunity for the industry to show case racing's elite performers. The NZ Racing Hall of Fame thanks Fieldays CEO - Barry Quayle for his support.
Last Friday a second kiosk was set up in the departure lounge at Hamilton International Airport. We have been delighted at the number of people who have been noted viewing it and we sincerely thank Airport CEO Chris Doak for approving this site.
NZ Racing Hall of Fame