Following my piece entitled ‘Give Us A Break’ which appeared in SP 1881, I was pleased to receive a call from Tom Callaghan, CEO OF Bloodstock SA, who requested the opportunity to add some further detail.
In my column, I had referred to the imminent switch of the Paddock Stakes sponsorship with effect 12 January 2013.
The prestigious fillies Gr1 race is no longer sponsored by Bloodstock SA and leading breeders Maine Chance Farms will add their branding for the race to be run on L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate day.The stake remains at R1 million.
Callaghan was clear as to the motivation behind the decision: “The reason why we cancelled this sponsorship is that we have lost a significant portion of our revenue to Cape Thoroughbred Sales, but have increased our contribution to Racing SA from R1m to R1.7m. We are thus looking at ways to tighten our belts to ensure that we can invest into the crucial efforts to create the platform for the export of our horses,” he said.
Callaghan added that the TBA was not a new player on the block. They will have been in business for 93 years next year .
“ We are in survival mode in very tough times, but are cutting our costs and streamlining our business. We have a plan and will survive and thrive next year. But our key focus is making sure we are investing monies into the galvanized efforts to crack the code on the AHS export protocols,” he said.
When questioned on what the other sales companies contribute to industry initiatives such as the export protocols, Callaghan said that to the best of his knowledge their competitors did not contribute pro rata.
Callaghan pulled no punches when saying that without the TBA many middle market breeders and buyers would struggle to remain in the game. “ We are committed to serving all breeders and buyers equally, and to be a business people love doing business with. Customer service, ethics and honesty are our major focus going forward,” he stressed.
“ Our Added Value Bonus Sweepstakes programme is going to be improved to offer more of our graduates incentives for winning races. It is thus important to note that we are contributing to stakes where we reasonably can, “ he said.
Callaghan closed by saying that the BSA budget for Tellytrack-spend was small and had nothing to do with the Paddock Stakes decision. “ I negotiate a serious deal with them to promote our sales. We do not use them to film and broadcast our Sales anymore, which in itself has resulted in significant savings,” he said.