Owner David Allan addressed a letter to the Sporting Post mailbag on Saturday 9 July in regard to a suggestion to the National Horseracing Authority of SA to internationalise certain racial references on forms and to streamline annual owner renewals.
We are pleased to revert on a prompt response from NHA MD Lyndon Barends – as well as some positive progress on Mr Allan’s suggestion.
Mr Lyndon Barends replies:
About ten years ago the NHA began to accept that Colour Holders had renewed their Colours if they simply submitted payment to the NHA. This continued for about 7 years, without incident and got to the point where we were receiving about 40% of the renewals without the form.
Then, about three years ago there was an incident which involved a certain Colour Holder. The NHA considered opening an inquiry which involved that Colour Holder.
It so happened that the Colour Holder had paid for his renewal but had not submitted the form. Because he had not submitted the form, he claimed that he was not subject to the Rules of the NHA.
The main thrust of his argument related to the declaration made on the form in terms of which the Colour Holder “states that he/she is acquainted with, and bound by, the Constitution and Rules of the National Horseracing Authority as amended from time to time”.
We were advised by our attorneys that the declaration contained on the renewal form was important as it cemented the contractual relationship between the NHA and the Colour Holder.
The Registrations Department was instructed to ensure that forms were signed and returned for all renewals.
The Way Forward:
We would prefer it if forms did not have to be submitted when Colour Holders renewed their Colours. At the moment a significant number of payments are made without the form being received at the same time in any case.
The staff in the department spend a lot of time following up on outstanding forms and this is a waste of valuable time.
We will adopt the recommendation by your reader and will send out a notice to all Colour Holders and state on the invoice that an automatic renewal presupposes that and binds the Colour Holder to the rules and regulations of the NHA.
While the NHA was very reluctant to incorporate the classification on the form it clearly states that the information is for statistical purposes only.
Furthermore, it is important for the industry to know exactly what the participation of the respective race groups is in the industry.
Even the Government has, on occasion, asked for the breakdown.
Mr Allan’s points as raised in his letter to the Sporting Post, are noted, particularly the difference in the interpretation of the word “Coloured” in South Africa and in other countries.
We unfortunately will not be able to change the classification system.
Those who cannot identify with any of the listed classifications should then use the other category.
Ed – we have had no response from the Racing Association