Letter to all Race Clubs

How may we help?

24 Aug 2015

All New Zealand Race Clubs & Friends of NZ Racing

On receiving the NZTR consolidation strategy email I cannot believe New Zealand racing is going down the path of reducing race meetings and the number of races. The chairman, Mr Goodson has given the reason that the foal crop is down which I don’t agree with after speaking to leading studs in the northern area. As I understand it there are more mares booked in for the 2015/2016 season than there were for the previous year. Also the number of horses who raced in NZ last season was only 1% down from the previous year.

Next week New Zealand’s leading trainers (Murray Baker, Kevin Myers, Lisa Latta, John Wheeler and myself), some leading participants in racing and breeding (Sir Patrick Hogan, Garry Chittick), invited guests and a representative from the media will meet for a round table meeting in Hamilton to discuss this new strategic plan and the future of New Zealand racing.

Discussion will also include the impact on the country clubs which are losing their race days such as Wairoa who is reducing to just one meeting. This not only has a financial effect on the club but by not being visible in the community the interest in racing will diminish and over a period of time the betting in that local area will also decline. An example of this is the Nelson circuit where their overall turnover at the TAB decreased significantly.

There are many leading trainers who support these clubs and will continue to support them, especially if it is a two day meeting which is more financially viable for both trainers that travel and the club.

Also to reduce the South Island meetings from 87 to 77 days indicates the board is trying to “strangle” the life out of racing in the South Island. A lot of these Clubs (as is in the North Island) are run due to the community spirit with working bees etc. The board doesn’t seem to have the understanding of what these meetings mean to the people in these districts and the overall fabric of the racing industry.

To push this point maybe the racing clubs need to show unity to reject the strategic plan. At our annual trainers meeting we asked for a $10k minimum stake which will cost the industry $3.5 million but getting any feedback from this proposal is like talking to a brick wall.

We are coming to a conclusion that maybe extreme measures need to be taken so that we will be listened to. I hope there is no alternative motive by our board due to the fact we are not getting any answers to our questions?  Please keep in mind racing cannot be run on projections and spreadsheets.

A letter will follow after the meeting with the feedback received from those attending.

Yours faithfully

Graeme A. Rogerson MNZM