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OUR BOARD

The Board of Directors of Queensland Thoroughbred Owners Association (QTOA) are an avid group of thoroughbred racehorse owners from across the industry who have links to large thoroughbred racehorse ownerships both interstate and intrastate.

They are passionate about advocacy and the role that the owners play in the thoroughbred racehorse industry including having a seat at the table with racing authorities to discuss important topics across the state.

 

QTOA is governed by a management committee which consists of 7 members and a company secretary, who meet every two months, or when required, to consider the important issues which affect racehorse owners.

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PETER TIGHE

Chairman and Director

Peter has been involved in racehorse ownership for more than 25 years and shot to prominence through his association with Winx, the mighty mare who raced in his distinctive blue and white Magic Bloodstock silks. Peter established Magic Bloodstock in partnership with his wife Patty, with the pair enjoying some success before Winx took them and their follow owners on the ride of a lifetime.

 

Away from racing, Peter made his name in the fruit and vegetable wholesale industry, continuing his family’s long association with the sector. He has been a Non-Executive Director of Brisbane Markets Limited since 1999, and is also a consultant for Global Fresh Australia and New Zealand. He served as a Director of Brismark from 1988-2021, and is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

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GARY CUNNINGHAM

Director

Cunningham Thoroughbreds is a Brisbane based family owned company with significant investments in thoroughbred racing and breeding.

As a director of the company Gary is actively involved in managing all aspects of the business. The Cunningham family racehorses are trained in Brisbane by Tony Gollan, Jack Bruce and Desleigh Forster and in Rockhampton by Tim Cook.

 

With a significant ownership stake in RIdgmont Farm, a broodmare property in Aberdeen in the Hunter Valley and investment in Boutique Thoroughbreds Gary has a broad involvement in the racing industry.

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JUSTINE OPPERMANN

Director

Justine joined the QTOA Board as Director in January 2023. She hopes to strengthen pathways into the racing industry for younger racegoers, in particular into racehorse ownership.

 

Taking up horse-riding at age 7, Justine grew up around horses and spent her weekends showing competitively throughout early adulthood. During this time, Justine had exposure to retraining off the track Thoroughbreds and her affinity with racing has continued to grow ever since. Justine is a regular attendee at race meetings both locally and interstate.

 

With a background in the legal and hospitality industries, Justine currently sits on the Executive Management Team at the Gold Coast Turf Club. Her role as Executive Manager Sales and Business Development combines her career skill set with her passion for the racing industry. Justine’s considered and deliberate approach has directly resulted in the development of new and existing revenue streams for the Gold Coast Turf Club along with implementing product offerings that enhance customer experience, engagement and participation.

 

Justine is also a Committee Member for the Meetings and Events Australia body.

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BEN MANNION

CEO

Ben has been involved in the ownership, syndication, breeding and racing of thoroughbreds over the last 20 years and has great connections across the racing industry. He is passionate about working and supporting the great people within the industry, growing the sport within regional areas and bringing more people into thoroughbred ownership across the state.

 

Ben sits on the Racing Queensland Greyhound Advisory Panel and across several sporting committees and advisory groups including Early Thoughts – a Sport, Racing and Business networking group supporting the racing industry for over 8 years.

 

Ben has a background in Banking, Finance, Media and Marketing and over the last 11 years, has held senior roles across Sport and Major Events including the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, 2015 AFC Asian Cup, CEO of Queensland Touch Football, General Manager of Nissan Arena, COO of Football Queensland and Commercial Sales Manager with the Brisbane Roar Football Club.

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MALCOLM PETROFSKI

Director

Born and bred in North Queensland, Malcolm grew up in Innisfail and, after graduating from high school, earned his trade ticket as a mechanic. None too excited about his career prospects as a mechanic and lasting just one day on the job, Malcolm spent the next 20 years rising through the ranks of Australian freight and logistics giant, Mayne Nickless, in operations management roles.

 

In the late nineties Malcolm started his own business, Logistics NQ, which now employs around 35 staff and services an area across Queensland spanning more than 3,000 square kilometres.

 

Malcolm has been married to horse trainer Michelle for more 25 years, and has two daughters. A man of simple tastes, he enjoys spending time with his family, visiting race tracks around Australia, and the odd Chinese meal.

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DIANNE OUSTON

Director

Dianne was born & raised in Central Queensland.  Her working life has revolved around business administration and together with her husband Bill, owned and operated Roadtest, a very successful engineering and soil testing business for 27 years.

In 2009, a property halfway between Rockhampton and Yeppoon was purchased.  After extensive development, Springton Park became one of Central Queensland’s finest spelling farms, with facilities designed specifically for the safe care and wellbeing of thoroughbreds.  

Many services, aside from spelling were provided including breaking-in, yearling sales preparation & sales attendance, pre-training and rehabilitation.  During this time, Dianne also introduced “Re-Educate Your Mate”, a successful rehoming program for thoroughbreds after their racing career had ended.  

 

Since selling Springton Park in 2019, Dianne and Bill have increased their ownership of racehorses, owning or obtaining shares in over 60 thoroughbreds.  This includes 8 broodmares and their prodigy, with the remainder being racehorses.  Dianne loves the breeding side of the industry but still revels in the thrill of racing.  Dianne has travelled to many racing events around the world, but nothing can beat the thrill of watching their own horse win a race.  

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LINDA HUDDY

Director

Born in Adelaide, Linda worked for some of the biggest names in racing in her younger years including Bart Cummings at Morphettville and Colin Hayes at Lindsay Park as stablehand/trackwork rider.


Linda and her husband Graham ran a successful earthmoving business for many years before purchasing Peachester Lodge in 2009.


They have raced many horses over the years including the likes of Shoot Out, Most Important, Pretty Brazen, I’m A Princess and Silvera.

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DRUE SCHOFIELD

Director

Drue has a lifelong love of thoroughbred horse racing passed on to him by his late-Grandfather, a keen enthusiast of the sport, with the echoes of the races on the radio ringing throughout his childhood.  He owns shares in several thoroughbred racehorses with family and friends, a share in a broodmare and enjoys all aspects of thoroughbred horse racing.

 

Drue is a regular attendee at race meetings in Brisbane, and when he’s ‘back home’ in Rockhampton his city of birth.  

 

He is Managing Principal of 4Front, a successful Accounting & Advisory business based in Brisbane.  Drue is excited to be a part of the QTOA Board and is looking forward to bringing his business knowledge combined with a passion for the sport to help promote & further the interests of thoroughbred racehorse owners all over the great state of Queensland.

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