ELLICAZOOM SOLD FOR $420,000
Stakes winning mare Elllicazoom (Testa Rossa-Ellicorsam by Fimiston) bred by South Australian breeder Michael Birchall was a S.A. Horse of the Year finalist for two years running. Purchased by Mick Malone of Kitchwin Hills at the Magic Millions Perth Winter Sale for $420,000 Elllicazoom will have another campaign before retiring to stud.
HALF BROTHER TO VIDDORA WINNER AT SHA TIN
Relentless Me by Statue of Liberty - Snow Flight, bred by Riva Ridge Stud and a half brother to Viddora, notched up his third win in Hong Kong when winning at Sha Tin on Saturday (16/6/18)
DON'T BOTHER ME TO STAND AT GLENRAE STUD
Son of Dark Angel bound for Australian Stud. Don't Bother Me (Dark Angel-Faleh by Silver Hawke) will be standing this season at Glenrae Stud for a fee of $3,300. Don't Bother Me won 5 races from 1200 to 1500 metres for $204,000 (Aust.) in earnings with stakes placings in Irish Two Thousand Guineas Trial, Ballycorous Stakes (G3) 4th Irish Derby Trial. He was sourced out of Ireland by leading Macau trainer James Moore and racing under the name of Rock N Rolla won 2 out of his 3 starts in Macau, beating New Zealand G1 winners Hunka Eagle and Allen Eagle. The syndicate that raced him will be supporting him at stud with some very nice mares now being purchased in Australia. He will be the first horse to have raced in Macau to stand at stud and also the first son of Dark Angel to to stand in Australia.
DANISH TWIST SOLD FOR $575,000
Danish Twist by Dane Shadow-Madame Flurry and half sister to Happy Trails,was purchased by Newgate Farm for $575,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Broodmare Sale today. Danish Twist was bred by local South Australian Breeders Liz & Brenton Parker and was part of the Mill Park draft. Triple G1 winner Jameka topped the sale at $2.6 Million.
AWARD TO PATRICK SHEEHAN
Congratulations to Patrick Sheehan, son of well known Cummins breeder Peter who was the winner of the Godolphin Award for Dedication to Breeding. This award is presented to a staff member who has shown talent in thoroughbred breeding horsemanship, consistency and reliability in a stud role.
FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR GOLDOPHIN AWARDS 5/4/18
The finalists in the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards have been selected from a record field of 300 nominations. The judging panel, led by South Australia's chief stipendiary steward Johan Petzer, have settled on 14 finalists from whom the seven winners will be chosen. "The GSSSA, now in its fourth year, is a fantastic initiative supported by Godolphin, Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia," Petzer said. "The judging panel continues to be impressed by the outstanding quality of the nominations. There is no doubt the quality of the nominees in 2018 is impressive, which makes the task of determining the winners a difficult one for the panel." The winners, plus the overall Thoroughbred Excellence Award winner, will be announced at the official Stud and Stable Staff Awards Ceremony at Morphettville Racecourse on Friday, 4 May. The finalists in each category are:
MINT LANE - A MONTH OF FIRSTS IN MARCH
Hero Time became Mint Lane's first Hong Kong winner scoring by 1.6 lengths over 1200m at Happy Valley on 7th March. Friday night racing at Moonee Valley produced a Mint Lane quinella by Our Gladiator and Another Diamond. Willi Willi became Mint Lane's first Stakewinner scoring in the Albury Gold Cup, taking his record to 5 wins and 1 second from only 12 starts.
G1 WIN FOR VIDDORA
Congratulations to Dr. Terry Hodgson, Riva Ridge Stud on the great win by VIDDORA in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot WA. Bred by Terry Hodgson who also retained a racing share, VIDDORA by I am Invincible out of the Colombia mare Snow Flight trained by Lloyd Kennewell was ridden to perfection by Joe Bowditch - a real South Australian success story
TABCORP & TATTS GROUP MERGER IN JEOPARDY
22/9/17 The proposed $11 billion merger between Tabcorp and Tatts Group has hit a legal hurdle with the Federal Court in Sydney upholding an appeal by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) . The merger was granted regulatory approval by the Australian Competition Tribunal in June, but the ACCC applied for a judicial review of the decision. Yesterday Justice Nye Perram said: "The court orders that the decision of the tribunal be set aside and the matter be referred back to the Australian Competition Tribunal for consideration" The reasons for the judgment will be released in five days.
NATIONAL BREEDING AWARDS
In conjunction with Coolmore Australia's annual stallion parade on 27/8/17, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia recognized outstanding achievements of horses and breeders during the 2016-17 season. Award winners were: Champion Australian Sire -SNITZEL, Champion Australian 2yo sire - SNITZEL, Champion Australian First Season Sire - PIERRO, Australian Broodmare of the Year - VEGAS SHOWGIRL, Breeder of Australian-bred exported racehorse of the year - MR. ENRICO COJUANGCO
SEMINAR SUNDAY 20TH AUGUST - WIN A $1000 TOWARDS YEARLING XRAYS
The S.A. Thoroughbred Breeders are pleased to invite you to our "Masterclass" seminar on SUNDAY 20TH AUGUST commencing at 11 a.m. at the Magic Millions Sales Complex. Featuring guest speakers Brian Nutt from Attunga Stud, Peter Huntington, Kentucky Equine Research and Adrian Hancock Magic Millions. The theme for this seminar is preparation and education of yearlings for the sales to try to assist vendors to get that extra dollar for their product. A free draw will be conducted for a voucher for a thousand dollars for a set of sale repository radiographs for the 2018 Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling sale. Service fee to AMBIDEXTER will be auctioned and free BBQ lunch served. For further information contact Phone: 8297 0733, Mobile: 0419844502 or email email@example.com
ANOTHER WINNER FOR MINT LANE
Willow Grove's Mint Lane is proving a reliable source of winners and looks to have an extra smart one in the shape of Willi Willi. An impressive Sandown maiden winner in late April the 3yo has gone on to win the Silver Bowl series final for 3yo's at Flemington. Mint Lane's overall stats make for good reading witih over 80% of his named foals making it to thie track - 36 winners from just 62 runners, a winners to runners strike rate in excess of 58%
Zebedee Adds UK Gr3
Monday, 24th July 2017
At Newbury in the UK, Cornerstone Stud shuttler & 2014 Champion European First-Season Sire Zebedee (Invincible Spirit-Cozy Maria, by Cozzene) added aGroup success when talented 5YO Irish-bred gelding Magical Memory (Zebedee-Maresem, by Cadeaux Genereux) scored by 1.25 lengths for trainer Charlie Hills in the Gr3 Hackwood Stakes (6 furlongs) for 3YO+, defeating Perfect Angel (Dark Angel) & Lady Macapa (Equiano). Magic Memory improved his record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 Duke Of York Stakes & Gr3 Abernant Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Haydock Sprint Cup) from 22 starts for £484,637 in earnings. Crowned 2014 Champion European First-Season Sire and 2015 Champion European Second-Season Sire, Zebedee will stand at Cornerstone Stud in 2017 at a fee of $16,500 (inc. GST).
VALE JOHN DIGBY
John Digby, former Keeper of the Australian Stud Book has passed away aged 84 years. A veterinarian, Mr. Digby was appointed Keeper of ASB in 1988 and made many significant changes during his tenure including establishing the stud book records on a website in 1997, the first stud book authority to do this. Mr. Digby brought modern management practices to the organisation combining this with regular communication with industry stakeholders. Most notably he was instrumental in the introduction of DNA testing and a website on the internet. On Mr. Digby's retirement in 2004 Michael Ford was appointed as the Keeper of the ASB. 30/6/2017 .
CHANGES TO SKILLED VISA
Changes to the skilled migration occupation list that benefit the breeding industry were announced today. A significant alteration to the visa scheme is the reinstatement of the occupation 'horse trainer' to the list of occupations under which employers can hire skilled workers from overseas. This occupation category is the one currently used to bring in the majority of foreign breeding staff.
SA RACING TO SIGN MULTI MILLION DEAL
Following on from the success of the State's first ever million dollar races, South Australian thoroughbred racing will sign a new multi-million dollar media rights agreement with Racing.com, covering its domestic (including digital) and international rights. As part of the seven-year agreement, which commences from 1 August 2017, Racing.com has sublicensed South Australian thoroughbred rights to Sky Racing, thus ensuring that South Australian thoroughbred race vision will continue to be screened on Sky's premier wall-to-wall racing channel.
TBA TO CONTRIBUTE FUNDS TO R&D LEVY
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) has announced it will contribute $200,000 to fund research and development for the breeding industry. The money will be placed into a newly created thoroughbred R&D levy scheme and will be matched by the federal government. By making the substantial donation, TBA will enable research projects to begin early in the coming financial year. "This contribution will have an immediate impact as it means research can begin on issues that breeders know are important. The way the levy is collected, if we were to wait on the mandatory contributions it is unlikely we'd be able to start projects until 2018," said TBA president Basil Nolan. Under the new levy, which was included in the recent federal budget and will be in place in the new financial year, breeders will pay $10 per mare and $10 per stallion return. This will raise about $400,000 per year that will be put in the fund for R&D, with the federal government then matching every industry dollar. It is expected that with voluntary contributions, such as the money from TBA, some $1 million could be available to spend each year on research that benefits the thoroughbred breeding industry. Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the levy will produce a huge return for breeders. "This levy will provide industry with greater certainty about available funding in future years and enable forward-year planning to deliver priority R&D for the benefit of the whole industry," Mr Joyce said.
TBA WELCOMES GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR R&D LEVY
Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has said the government is committed to supporting the thoroughbred breeding industry.
RELENTLESS ME (Statue of Liberty-Snow Flight) ridden by Joe Moreira was winner at his first start on Sunday at Sha Tin. The 3 yo gelding - a half brother to Viddora was bred by Riva Ridge Stud and sold at the Adelaide Magic Millions sales to John Foote Bloodstock for $47,000
9th STAKE VICTORY FOR RIZIZ
8yo RIZIZ by Zariz out of Priya bred and trained by Ken Sweeney joined the million dollars stakes winners when he registered his 9th stakes victory on Saturday at Morphettville, winning the Listed City of Adelaide Handicap, RIZIZ has now had 15 wins from 56 starts for $1,039,375 in earnings.
G3 FOR WAGING WAR
3yo gelding WAGING WAR by G1winning stallion Rebel Raider out of the Galileo mare Fartoo Flashy, bred by Harry Perks, overcame a tough run to win the G3 Chairman's Stakes at Morphettville. He has now had 4 wins and 3 placings from 11 starts for $126,900 in earnings.
VIDDORA WINS G3 IRWIN STAKES
4YO mare VIDDORA, recorded her 6th win from 19 starts by winning the G3 Irwin Stakes at Morphettville. Bred by Riva Ridge Stud by I Am Invincible out of Snow Flight, VIDDORA was purchased by Lloyd Kennewell for $40,000 at the 2014 Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sales
SOUTH AFRICAN WINNER FOR S.A. BREEDER 20/4/17
NAAFER (Lohro - Very Discreet) was an impressive winner at his second start in South Africa recently. Bred by South Australian breeder, David Peacock, Naafer was the highest price Lohnro yearling in the 2016 Inglis Easter sale - purchased by DarrenWeir/John Foote Bloodstock for $560,000.
Successful sire Bellotto (Mr. Prospector-Shelf Talker, by Tatán) has died at his home at Rosden Park (formerly Paumah Stud) in South Australia, reports Racing Post. He was 33. Bred in the US, the near black son of Mr Prospector was a talented racehorse placing in both the English Derby and 2000 Guineas before embarking on a career at stud. Launching his career at Arrowfield Stud, Bellotto would go on to sire 45 stakes winners including six Gr1 winners. Among his leading progeny were Gr1 The BMW, Gr1 Turnbull Stakes and VRC Derby runner-up Littorio, Gr1 South Australian Derby winner Bullwinkle, Gr1 Goodwood Handicap winner Bellzevir, and Gr1 Adelaide Cup winner Exalted Time. Bellotto was also an influential broodmare sire leaving Queensland Oaks winner Miss Danehill and New Zealand Derby winner Coniston Bluebird
WILLOW GROVE SECOND HIGHEST PRICE AT ADELAIDE YEARLING SALES
Congratulations to Ralph and Linda Satchell on attaining second highest price at the recent Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sales. Their classy looking colt Lot 77 by Stratum/El Miralgo was purchased by MacDonald Gluyas Racing for $170,000. The same combination also later paid the top price of $190,000 for Lot 145 Bay colt by All TooHard/Lady Paget.
GRIANTE GOLDNERS HORSE TRANSPORT HORSE OF YEAR 2016
Griante by Cornerstone Stud's resident stallion Good Journey was crowned Goldner's Horse Transport Horse of the Year for 2016 at the UBET S.A. Thoroughbred Breeders Annual Awards Dinner at the InterContinental Hotel on Saturday 13/2/17.
THOROUGHBRED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT LEVY
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) has formally lodged an application for a federal government funded thoroughbred research and development levy. The levy which will generate close to $2.4 million over the next three years is set to be implemented in the new financial year.
FRANKEL'S CONQUEROR JOINS CORNERSTONE STUD
Europe's Champion Freshman Sire, SIR PRANCELOT Tamayuz (GB) - Mona Em (IRE) by Catrail, will be shuttling from Tally Ho Stud in Ireland to Cornerstone Stud from 2017.
HONG KONG WINNER FOR TERRY PARK STUD
WaterDiviner (Equiano-Check in Time) bred by Bryan and June Terry has had 2 wins from 2 starts in Hong Kong. Sold for $80,000 at the Adelaide Magic Millions Sales to New Zealand interests it then brought $150,000 at their ready to run sale
Accordingly, when our office finds out that the ATO are conducting a special audit project on ABN/GST registrations, we get it out there as soon as possible.
RACING NSW ISSUES WARNING ABOUT MANNITOL & GLAUCINE TESTING
MESSARA ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
John Messara, the Chairman of Racing New South Wales will retire on 31 December 2016 after serving 5 years in the position, making him the longest serving chairman in the board's history. This latest announcement comes less than a week after David Moodie stepped down as the chairman of Racing Victoria. His position will be taken by the current deputy chairman Russell Balding. Speaking on behalf of the board Balding said yesterday "John Messara is the longest serving chairman of Racing NSW and is an icon in the Australian Thoroughbred Racing Industry, he will be greatliy missed."
SANDHILL WARRIOR WINS LISTED MURRAY BRIDGE GOLD CUP
9YO gelding Sandhill Warrior (Black Hawk-Star O'War) bred by R.D. Coleman and raced by him in partnership with Mrs. VJ Coleman, SR Turner and Mrs. EA Turner and trained by Sam Turner finally opened his stakes account by scoring a .4 length win in the Listed Murray Bridge Gold Cup on 12/10/16. This brings his record to 12 wins and 8 placings from 43 starts for earnings of $290,585.
SERENELY DISCREET WINS G2 EDWARD MANIFOLD STAKES
Congratulations to local breeders David Peacock and Pam Loxton breeders and part owners of 3 YO filly Serenely Discreet which won the G2 Sir Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington on 1/10/16. This was the first stakes win for Serenely Discreet who now has 3 wins from 5 starts for $205,100 earnings . Trainer Phillip Stokes said she is likely to back up in next weeks G1 Thousand guineas before progressing to the G1 VRC Oaks during Melbourne Cup week. "She's definitely an Oaks Filly" Stokes said "she's out of the same family as Maybe Discreet and she was Manifold winner in 2012, but this one's got a lot more scope"
REDRAFT TO RULES OF RACING BY RACING AUSTRALIA
Racing Australia in consultation with Thoroughbred Breeders Australia has redrafted the Rules of Racing that relate to breeders and foal owners. As a result, stewards will only have access to studs and farms to test for anabolic androgenic steroids in young horses, prohibited substances in racehorses and to monitor the health and welfare of horses. Racing Australia has also agreed to form a new body called the Australian Racing & Breeding Committee, with representatives of both racing and breeding, which will meet at least four times a year to discuss industry issues.
TBA Chairman, Basil Nolan said "I believe the creation of this committee is an important step forward and I sincerely hope Racing Australia and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia can work consultatively and co-operatively through this new board in the future."
(iii)The observation of other horses for health and welfare reasons only where there is a concern for their health and welfare based on reasonable grounds; and
For further information please contact TBA chief executive Tom Reilly on 02 9663 8581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LITTLE AKIE WINS LISTED BALAKLAVA CUP
Thursday, 1st September 2016
9YO gelding Little Akie (Akhadan-Double Spirits, by Blevic) broke through for the biggest win of his career when scoring by 0.2-length for trainer Brian Mueller in the $100,000 Listed Balaklava Cup. Owned by Mrs Lorraine Mueller and bred and trained by Brian Mueller, Little Akie improved his record to 13 wins and 23 placings from 66 starts for $439,090 earnings.
MCGAURAN RESIGNS AS RACING AUSTRALIA CEO
Friday, 26th August 2016
Racing Australia's Chief Executive Officer, Peter McGauran, yesterday advised the Board that he will not be seeking to renew his contract of employment on its expiration in December 2016. McGauran has accepted a senior corporate position which will become public at a later date. Moreover, he will assume a number of non-executive directorships precluded by his current position. McGauran has been the CEO of Racing Australia for the last 4.5 years, a period marked by major reform and development at the national level. As well as the merger of the Australian Racing Board, Racing Information Services Australia (RISA) and the Australian Stud Book into one entity - Racing Australia - McGauran played an important role in introducing the most significant integrity and animal welfare reforms in modern racing history. "The Board joins me in thanking Peter for his hard work and dedication and in wishing him well in the future," said Racing Australia Chairman, Mr John Messara AM. "I especially have worked closely with Peter and well know the commitment he brought to a difficult role. The Board will consider a replacement process at its September board meeting."
2016 TBA NATIONAL BREEDING AWARDS
Five awards were handed out at the National Breeding Australia Awards Presentation held in conjunction with Darley's annual stallion parade on Saturday August 20, hosted by Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and compered by Caroline Searcy. Champion Australian Sire STREET CRY (who sadly passed away in 2014. Champion Australian Sire of 2 Year Olds, WRITTEN TYCOON, Champion Australian First Season Sire SMART MISSILE, Australian Broodmare of the Year VEGAS SHOWGIRL and Breeder of the Australian-bred Exported Racehorse of the Year John & Margaret Thompson breeders of multiple Group winners RANGIPO.
2 WINNERS FOR HOST AT FLEMINGTON
Willow Grove based stallion HOST had a great day at Flemington on 23rd July, siring two winners - MIGHTY LIKE won the Bruce Gadsden Handicap over 1200m first up, and NAME THE DAY won the KA Morrison Handicap over 2000m after 2 nice placings over a mile. HOST now has 4 stakeswinners,79 winners and over $6.5million prizemoney earnings with a winners to runners ratio of 65%
MINT LANE WINNERS FLOWING
Willow Grove based stallion MINT LANE has had 3 new winners and 2nd in the last few weeks. MINTINI trained by Ryan Balfour won convincingly leading all the way at Murray Bridge on 29th June, she is from the Hurricane Sky mare Shalini, a half sister to multiple Stakeswinner Red Hope. ANOTHER DIAMOND a 3yo filly trained in Victoria by Bill Cerchi ran a gutsy 2nd after nearly leading all the way on 2nd July. She has already won 2 races at the provincials in Victoria. AUSSIE BOB won his maiden at Bordertown on 3rd July and PLAYBOY LANE won firstup at Port Augusta for his new trainer Sam Burford.
TBA CONDUCTS SURVEY ON RULE CHANGES
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) will analyse feedback collected by an online survey of breeders before formulating its response to the new foal registration rules announced by Racing Australia two weeks ago. The sport's governing body announced new rules for the registration of thoroughbred foals and their owners after an extensive consultation period with industry stakeholders. New Australian Rules of Racing and Stud Book Rules will be introduced to make acceptance into the Stud Book conditional on foals being registered within 30 days of foaling and their beneficial owners being declared within a further 30 days. In so doing, foals and their owners will come under the Australian Rules of Racing. Racing Australia said these reforms "will strengthen ownership transparency and traceability leading to improved integrity and animal welfare in the thoroughbred industry." However, Breeders have criticised the incoming rules with TBA claiming that Racing Australia in fact failed to properly consult the industry. TBA also claims that breeders are underrepresented on Racing Australia’s rule-making advisory body, the Integrity and Welfare Executive Committee (IWEC). “We are using the survey to get an idea of what some of the breeders think (about the rules),” TBA president Basil Nolan told ANZ Bloodstock News. “Obviously we’ll have a good cross-section of breeders complete the survey and we’ll see what they think of the rules and want to do from here." He added: "I think some of the rules are unworkable, really, and I would think we would try and get those altered, but it will be up to the TBA board." Nolan wrote to members last week saying: "One of the TBA's major concerns about Racing Australia's move to regulate breeding is the lack of any meaningful representation being offered, while another is the lack of genuine consultation that has occurred so far. While I am loath to make any comparison between our industry and that of the greyhounds, one remark in Michael McHugh's report on the NSW greyhound industry is particularly relevant to our situation: "Sound and proper consultation is the very essence of good governance." He added: "At TBA we are very keen to hear your thoughts on the new rules. I would encourage you to participate in a survey we have commissioned on this subject."
Owner/breeder Wally Tonkin sadly advised that South Australian Millionaires Club inductee STREAK who was rising 22, passed away last Sunday from a twisted bowel. STREAK (Umatilla-Reputable Miss) won over a $million dollars with 40 starts for 9 wins which included the G1 AJC Sydney Cup, G2 MVRC Crosby Gold Cup,
RESEARCH LEVY FOR THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) President Basil Nolan today welcomed the announcement by Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce that, if re-elected, he would grant a Research and Development Levy for the thoroughbred industry.
The Levy will see the Department of Agriculture match funds raised by the thoroughbred industry in a dollar for dollar scheme for research projects that will be spent safeguarding and improving equine health and production.
With the Australian Labour Party having already committed to installing the Levy if elected, the scheme appears certain to go ahead.
“We are grateful to Mr Joyce for making matched funding available for research, this scheme will give our industry real certainty that we will have government support into the future for vital projects in areas like bio-security and disease control,” said Mr Nolan.
“Breeding plays a very important role in the rural economy and it’s pleasing to have this acknowledged by Mr Joyce and by the Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon. I have no doubt that the research funded by this levy will help us grow our industry through better health outcomes for horses and it will also safeguard the jobs of the many thousands of people who work with thoroughbreds,” Mr Nolan added.
It is expected about $400,000 will be raised each year by a small levy on stallion and mare owners, with the government agreeing to match that sum for an initial three years if re-elected, meaning $800,000 will be available to fund research per annum.
Such schemes are common in agriculture with many areas of primary production, such as cotton, beef and grains, all receiving dollar for dollar funding in this way.
A proposal brought by TBA was initially rejected by the federal government last year, after which the peak body for the breeding industry produced economic modelling that showed granting the levy would improve production and economic activity.
Mr Nolan added: “I would also like to thank TBA chief executive Tom Reilly for his tireless work behind the scenes to make this announcement possible and convince parliamentarians of all sides of politics the importance this levy.”
Among the areas likely to be the focus of research are the prevention and management of exotic and indigenous diseases, improving the conception rates of mares and stallions and efforts to reduce foetal loss caused by contagious diseases.
TBA chief executive Tom Reilly described how the levy will provide real certainty for funding.
He said: “Getting this levy funded is very important and it means we can look to some ambitious long term projects of benefit to all breeders right across the country. Once put in place these R&D levies have not been repealed so we believe this funding will be ongoing."
THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS AUSTRALIA
On Friday the board of Racing Australia will discuss a proposal relating to the breeding industry, which is causing considerable angst and confusion.
While there may be some involved in racing who will be perplexed at this level of concern, there are many breeders furious that Racing Australia would seek to pursue a policy that gives them unchecked power over breeding. The decision to pursue such a divisive policy at a time when both the number of breeders (down 38 per cent from 2010 to 2015) and foals being born (down 24 per cent) has dropped significantly in the past five years will also confuse many in the thoroughbred world.
To understand Thoroughbred Breeders Australia's (TBA) position it is worth first considering what Racing Australia are proposing:
Under their suggested new policy breeders would have to agree to be bound by the Rules of Racing when registering 'mare returns', the forms which are submitted to the Australian Stud Book (ASB) after a thoroughbred foal is born.
This is a significant shift from the current process whereby the rules of racing only cover the owners of a thoroughbred when it is registered as a racehorse.
For those who are not familiar with the ASB, it is best described as the Births, Death and Marriages of the thoroughbred world; a database in which all Australian thoroughbreds are recorded in order to be registered to race or for their progeny to race in the future. It has provided the regulatory framework for the breeding industry for more than a century.
Racing Australia is also proposing that the full ownership interests in each foal are submitted to the Stud Book at this early stage, a recommendation that would increase transparency and a proposal that has been fully supported by the breeding industry since it was first mooted more than 12 months ago.
Why the concern about the Rules of Racing?
Firstly, if adopted this measure would give organisations established for running racing - Racing Australia as well as the 'Principal Racing Authorities', such as Racing Victoria and Racing NSW - complete control over breeding, what is essentially a primary industry.
Any new regulation that would affect breeding would simply be added to the Rules of Racing by administrators and every owner of a broodmare, foal or stallion would be forced to comply or face the possibility of not being able to register their horses with the Stud Book.
Given there is no meaningful representation being offered for breeders on the bodies that would decide what new rules are created or implemented this situation is unacceptable to the vast majority of breeders.
It's worth remembering that organisations such as Racing NSW or Racing Queensland have been established, and their directors appointed, with regard to the task of running racing, not breeding. While there may be some breeders on these boards now, there is no guarantee this will be the case in future and, what's more, these people are required by their duty as a director to act in the best interests of their racing board and this may not be aligned with the interests of the breeding industry.
Requests that breeders be given meaningful representation in discussions around any further rules - TBA suggested a panel of three highly regarded breeders, two to be chosen by Racing Australia, be formed to review all future rules relating to breeding - have been emphatically rejected.
Those that may believe breeding is some minor adjunct to racing should understand it is a significant industry in its own right: there are more than 10,000 people directly employed (and many more indirectly) in an industry which generates billions of dollars of economic activity each year; from expenditure on feed, fencing, stallion nominations, not to mention the sums that horses are sold for.
Consider if this was another primary industry facing an attempt to regulate it by a user down the supply chain; for example if Coles or Woolworths said they wanted to regulate dairy farmers because most milk in Australia is sold through their stores. What would the reaction of those farmers be?
Breeding is an important industry that requires a voice in its future, not a proposal to see it governed by an unaccountable group of racing administrators. This lack of representation could easily lead to the introduction of rules that are damaging to the breeding industry.
Animal Welfare and Integrity
One of the most disappointing aspects of this debate is the suggestion, put forward by some directors of Racing Australia, that if you don't support their proposal you are against animal welfare or transparency.
Such a crass attempt to take the moral high ground is depressing in the extreme.
Nobody cares more about the welfare and conduct of thoroughbreds than breeders across Australia. Every breeder has a deep love of the animal; those who breed to sell rely on the health and reputation of their horses and farms to succeed commercially while those who breed to race or to simply enjoy a thoroughbred on their property do so for the love of the animal and invest many thousands of dollars before even getting a foal on the ground.
As for tougher regulation, TBA submitted to Racing Australia a proposal for new rules in the areas of animal welfare, transparency and integrity (all areas flagged as motivations for Racing Australia's changes). The TBA suggestions would have ensured there is oversight for thoroughbreds before they enter racing and during their lifespan in the breeding industry.
We stated that rules relating to breeders should be in the Stud Book, the body which has regulated breeding in this country since 1878, rather than caught up in the Rules of Racing, of which there are currently 101 pages with just one mention of breeders.
We also set out possible penalties applying under the proposed rules as well as proposing the creation of an enforcement mechanism for the Stud Book and a panel to adjudicate on breaches of the rules. It is also worth noting that there are already numerous laws and agencies that deal with animal welfare across the country.
TBA's proposal would have allowed the Australian industry to state it has the strongest regulation in the world, instead Racing Australia appears determined to bind breeders to a set of rules which are totally irrelevant to our industry. Unfortunately Racing Australia has rejected TBA's proposal.
And what are the issues Racing Australia is trying to address? At a recent public meeting the chairman of Racing Australia, John Messara, himself a prominent breeder, and his chief executive, Peter McGauran, were asked to cite a single incident of malpractice in breeding. Neither could name one.
The role of Racing Australia
Another aspect of concern for breeders is the role of Racing Australia. In the past two years this body has morphed from the toothless tiger that was the Australian Racing Board to now owning tens of millions of dollars in assets (the Australian Stud Book and RISA, the system that trainers use to enter horses in races).
It also retains its primary function, to make the rules of racing. But is Racing Australia accountable to anybody?
If Racing NSW or Racing Victoria are doing a poor job or make a terrible decision you can visit the relevant racing minister and voice your concerns, with the possibility that this minister could use his or her powers to intervene in the organisation.
With Racing Australia there is nobody to provide oversight of its responsibilities; if it makes a bad rule there is no minister or official to complain to.
Breeders endured a taste of this 18 months ago when Racing Australia mistakenly listed a hormone as an anabolic steroid (after acting without consulting breeders). When a yearling 'failed' a steroid test at a sale due to traces of this hormone being detected, TBA urged Peter McGauran to review the rule before the findings became public.
His response was alarming: "It's nothing to do with me, I only make the rules," he said. Eventually the rule was amended - but not before the Australian breeding industry had suffered a huge amount of negative publicity.
Another area of concern is the governance structure of Racing Australia. If their proposal were to succeed a situation would exist where one of the largest commercial breeders in Australia, John Messara, chairs Racing Australia, the body which would regulate the breeding industry as well as chairing Racing NSW, which would investigate commercial rivals for any breaches of the rules and then hand out penalties. The potential for conflict of interest, or even the perception of that conflict, would unlikely be acceptable in other industries of similar size and significance to the state's economy.
This is not a personal attack on Mr Messara, a man who has worked tirelessly on behalf of racing and breeding for many years, but an observation on the situation.
It would not matter whether it was Mr Messara or another major commercial breeder; there is without question a perceived conflict of interest when one of the biggest players in an industry seeks to have regulatory control of that industry, without putting in an adequate framework to manage that perceived conflict.
There are many positions, such as judges, where people acknowledge that there could be a perceived conflict or bias and remove themselves from the situation without any suggestion that they would act inappropriately.
In NSW licensed people (trainers and jockeys) are barred from being board members of Racing NSW. This was done for good reason; how could a trainer be chair of a body that had the power to investigate and punish any rule breaches by a peer? Even if a director acted completely impartially, the perception could and would exist that they acted in a manner favourable to their interests.
Where to from here?
What is so disappointing in this debate is that the middle ground between the two sides is considerable. We both want the same outcomes; an improved regulatory framework for thoroughbreds before they enter racing and increased transparency.
But breeders will not accept a proposal that does not allow their industry a meaningful say in its future. Whether this issue ends in the Supreme Court remains in the hands of Racing Australia.
For more information please contact TBA chief executive Tom Reilly at email@example.com.
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia
Cornerstone Stud are celebrating as Magical Memory by ZEBEDEE continued his ascent up the European sprinting ranks with a commanding victory in the G2 Duke of York Stakes at York on Wednesday, adding to his G3 win at Newmarket last month and establishing himself as a major player for the G1 Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot next month. This was the third stakes race success for progeny by ZEBEDEE this year, who served a book of 100 mares in his first breeding season at Cornerstone Stud in 2015.
VALENTIA TO CORNERSTONE STUD
Cornerstone Stud has announced the acquisition of VALENTIA (Fasnet Rock - Smart Company) in association with Louis Le Metayer of Astute Bloodstock. A son of champion sire Fastnet Rock he was a terrific winner of the Gr2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) as a two year old, a race previously won by the likes of Snitzel,Choisir and anther son of Fastnet Rock the young boom sire Hinchinbrook.
South Australian Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.
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Phone: +61 8 8297 0733 Fax: +61 8 8371 1633