In no particular order I will comment as follows
The Super Club Proposal . To be fair to say this proposal is not going down well with the clubs. I think they will all agree that something has to change but at this stage the clubs are not happy putting in their assets to a central point and they are certainly not happy about losing their identity.
HRNZ have discussed an alternative option to the superclub model to some clubs and regions . Under the model proposed by some clubs, they would retain their identity however would pool their financial results from off course and fixed odds funding. There would be a centralised body, who would co –ordinate programming and stakes for that particular region.
Under this models clubs would essentially be race day hosts running programmes as developed by the centralised body. Whilst all these details have not been finalised the idea in principal has support with the clubs consulted and hopefully the clubs will approve this change in due course and then HRNZ will progress these matters further . Regions who are happy with the super club concept will still be able to implement this concept.
NZ Trotting Owners Association It was agreed that the owners representative on the board not be combined with the breeders association which is great news. Currently HRNZ will take legal advice in making this change and will amend the HRNZ constitution. Each registered owner who has an email address will be consulted to ascertain if they wish to be nominated for this position on the board and then a panel appointed by HRNZ will select the candidate. Panel will consist of a HRNZ board member, representative from the Owners Association and an independent person. Elected person will be appointed for a three year term and this will take effect from this years AGM. I will put my name forward again for another term as I feel that I can contribute to Harness Racing New Zealand and to a certain degree I am still learning as I only have been in this position now for 6 Months.
Driving Fees The New Zealand Trainers and Drivers Association put a proposal forward to our last meeting asking to increase the losing driving fee from $75.00 plus GST to $100.00 plus GST. The Trainers and Drivers association felt that this increase was justified and wanted to be more in line with the thoroughbred code.
The owners association was consulted and both the secretary and Chairman where against the increase because the owner ends up paying everything and at this particular time the industry could not afford this increase .. At board level i said that some of the drivers do very well now each race meeting and in actual fact could potentially earn more than stable hands earn now each week just on one day. In a lot of cases their are not a lot of just straight drivers and the trainer driver would be on course anyway. More owners have to be encouraged into the industry now and if we get more owners this will have a flow on effect to the product with more mares being bred. At board level the chairman of the Trainers and Drivers asked for a $10.00 increase and when it came to the vote he changed his request to a $5.00 increase plus GST. Motion was defeated and I voted against the motion.
Our next meeting is scheduled as a 2 day meeting in April which will be solely on approving the calendar and stakes allocation for next season . I will be trying to get a better stakes distrubtion at Grass roots level especially for the co c1 ,c2 where most of the horses currently compete now. I also believe that the current handicap system is not working in these levels as well so I will be hoping that the current handicapping committee will be making some changes for next season as well. Trainers have been telling me they have a horse that can only win one race and when they do win that race the owners are on cloud nine and are asking where to from here but the trainer knows that this horse will never win another race . We have to have a system that allows this type of horse to continue and compete against others who are of a like. Our bread and butter horses are in this c0 c1 c2 . Results from our recent survey showed that to attract more owners into the business we have to have better stakes.