The QTOA as a member of The Thoroughbred Alliance (an industry association comprising the Trainers Association represented by Cameron Partington, the Breeders Association represented by Basil Nolan and the Jockeys Association represented by Glen Prentice) recently met with the Minister for Racing, Grace Grace.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss shared concern regarding the relationship the industry has with QRIC. We recognize both the importance and value of industry oversight in matters dealing with integrity, however the oversight and interventions must be complemented by common sense application of rules and regulations. There have been occasions where the industry feels that a lack of common sense and experience has negatively complicated decision making and attempts to discuss matters have not been respectfully addressed.
Decisions around cancellation of race meetings, suspension and banning of horses from racing, scratching of horses with late notice etc are all matters affecting ownership experience. As with most possible areas of conflict it is usually able to be avoided by strong open and respectful communication.
Our concerns were respectfully heard by the Minister who undertook to examine the matters raised and respond. We will follow up on this important matter after a reasonable period.
Much of the discussion we have at QTOA committee meetings deals with issues of particular concern to regional and rural owners. I met recently with award winning journalist Harry Clark who is proprietor of Country Caller, an online news service focussed on all things Queensland country. Country Caller has a history of producing reports and features on various country and regional race days and events. It is important for regional Queensland to have a stronger voice and given the importance to the economy of a successful state wide racing industry the Country Caller is one vehicle to help get the word out and share concerns and experiences. If you are interested to know more go to email@example.com.
The QTOA has continued to build on our open lines of communication with Racing Queensland, our most recent meeting was attended by EGM Customer and Corporate Affairs Richard Goodbody, Marketing Manager Mitch Jones and EGM Customer & Corporate Affairs Hayley Vincent. We discussed some of the plans RQ have in place with particular emphasis on the issue of the cost of work cover insurance for Queensland trainers. This is a complex and multi-layered issue and clearly has potential to impact the cost of thoroughbred ownership. There will be more to report on this in the near future.
Through some of these recent discussions with RQ, the QTOA has also been able to flag concerns and seek further feedback on topics such as plans around racing pathways in North Queensland.
We will be working closely with Racing Queensland over the Summer Carnival and at the January Magic Millions Yearling Sale where we will have a presence at the RQ Marquee and their upcoming Own The Morning Sessions, aimed at helping educate and attract owners to the industry.
These are positive steps for owners in Queensland as we head into a peak period for racing in our state as the Summer Racing Carnival begins to ramp up throughout December and into January. Our friends at Magic Millions have again assembled an excellent catalogue of yearlings for sale and the Magic Millions race days in conjunction with the Gold Coast turf club are among the most oustanding on the Australian racing calendar.
Once again we thank our commercial partners for their support and urge our members to take advantage of some of the offers available in our monthly newsletter.
Good luck to all our owners with runners over the Summer Carnival.