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Owner Body Takes Shape

Racing operator shows willingness to engage

Along Came Polly wins the Gr1 Thekwini Stakes at Greyville 13-07-27

Powerful KZN owner Brian Burnard has been mandated by a number of fellow owners to engage Gold Circle on their behalf in addressing the ever increasing unsustainability and lack of consultation.

Burnard writes in an email:

I had a meeting with Gold Circle on 16 August, informing them of the unacceptable position owners find themselves in.

The matters addressed were stakes monies and the condition of the racetracks – with many more issues still to be tabled.

Gold Circle were very accommodating and open to input from Owners.

I informed them that I intend establishing an ‘Independent Owners Association’ and was assured of their assistance where possible.

Owners finance horseracing, and the Operators, suppliers etc must be held accountable.

Pursuant to the above, I urge ALL owners to join this proposed Association, to enable us to collectively and constructively move forward in pursuing our goals

Since it will depend on the quantum of Owners willing to join that will determine the viability of  establishing  such an organisation, I request ALL interested Owners to email me their acceptance hereto.

Once viability is achieved, I will have the Constitution / Articles of Association drawn up and made available to all.

Brian may be contacted on: [email protected]

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12 comments on “Owner Body Takes Shape

  1. Ray Curling says:

    Well Done.
    It is about time that a stance has been taken.
    I can only wish you well.

  2. bob kistnasamy says:

    We acknowledge the contribution of owners to the sport of kings. Without them, racing would be all the more poorer. whilst it is imperative that they form a body, it would be beneficial if all the stake holders of the game such as the bookmakers, trainers, jockeys, punters, sponsors and others are equally represented. One cannot exist without the other. I am certain that the punters and the other stakeholders have issues that they would also like addressed.
    It is critical that we get a seasoned and neutral facilitator to support and address issues.
    let’s hope we can something that works and for the benefit of all and to the game..

  3. Barry Irwin says:

    Or course I will join.

    But having been in the forefront of other such organizations through the years in the United States, what I have found is that all of the frustrations that any new group became so weary of in the old group resurfaced in the new group, usually in a more egregious fashion. The new groups became more power hungry, more obnoxious and more corrupt than their predecessors.

    I would caution any new group to have an agenda that is as narrow and specific as possible, so as not to be empowered beyond their strict mandate.

    I would also suggest that NOBODY in the hierarchy be anybody that serves on any other board or in any other capacity that might cause a conflict of interest.

    Graeme Hawkins and Larry Wainstein would be perfect example of the types of fellows that are glowing examples of those that have their fingers in too many pies, hence too many conflicts of interest.

  4. Brian Burnard says:

    Correct Barry,That is why it will be called the ” INDEPENDENT ” Owners Association,insuring no conflict of interest, which will be enshrined in the Articles of Association. This is the only way it will be of benefit to ALL INDEPENDENT Owners, big and small. Owners are not the ENEMY here, but collectively and Constructively they have the power to fix what is broken, to the benefit of ALL players in this amazing sport of ours.

  5. Warrenl says:

    Dear Brian

    I think You are fully supported here and the confidence and guidance of Barry could never be ignored.

    I think this is the best thing since sliced bread. Just a question , Is this a national movement or is this a Natal Chapter . I would love to see some kind of opposition in the Cape and Johannesburg as well as owner raid to other provinces , Such as yourself with Here Comes Polly so this should be stretch further.

    All the Best

  6. Ian Jayes says:

    One of the biggest mistakes made was doing away with the Owners & Trainers Association of the Transvaal (OTA) which resulted in the demise of the National Federation of Owners and Trainers (NATFED). The OTA’s throughout the country and NATFED were very influential and were listened to. Once it all fell away the operators were accountable to nobody and the present state of affairs was the unavoidable result. The first move was to split owners and trainers and hive them off into separate associations. Together they are the most powerful group in racing. A really strong committed group to steer the industry in a different direction is long overdue.

  7. Brian Burnard says:

    Warrenl The intention certainly is to make it a national movement, but we must crawl before we can walk.

  8. Seafarer says:

    Well done Brain for taking the first steps in something that sounds exciting.

    I agree it should be a National movement as we need to all stand together and be part of decisions made.

    With the current economical climate and other concerns , organs such as the RA should also be challenged. There are many owners that refuse to be members of the RA because of their own reasons , so having some sort of presence would go a long way by just simply asking a question or two.

    The one lesson that – The Operators , Gold Circle, Kenilworth Racing, the NRA and The Racing Association should have learnt from the 3rd of August. Is being Contempt , Showing disregard to all Parties and being arrogant – We must remember that the majority will rule when they are unhappy.

    I wish you all the best in this and trust all owners will support this cause .

  9. a says:

    Finally!! From the time Phumelela etc was created, I could never understand how perfectly intelligent owners could allow themselves to be suckered like this. Especially since most racehorse owners own companies themselves. Time and again I’ve written that the owners and punters create the game of horseracing. The “supply and demand”. Not Phumelela or Gold Circle. We just need them to give structure and make things run smoothly. Certainly not to cream money to pay a bunch of shareholders who do NOTHING. As a punter, I know without horses and the people who buy them, there’d be no racing. I just ask that you please don’t forget about the punter when you make your demands and decisions. Because without us parting with our hard earned money, it wouldn’t be worth while for you owners either.

  10. Eden Zarde' says:

    Good Luck to the new Independent Owners Association. I will be impressed should the association get off the ground and achieve something substantial. The success of Gold Circle and Phumelela when it comes to OWNERS, JOCKEYS and TRAINERS has been achieved through a divide and rule approach.They are much like dictators. They need to keep all factions in check.

    In 2006 many senior JOCKEYS decided not to ride over the coming weekend on South African racecourses due to a wage dispute. The pay dispute followed a demand by the South African Jockey`s Association (SAJA) for riding fees to be upped. The Operators had the last laugh as they refused to recognise SAJA as a representative body for Jockeys and forced the hands of Jockeys to receive their riding fees directly from them and not through the Operators. The jockey strike ended up a resounding success for the Operators.

    TRAINERS have their own Associations in the different training centres of South Africa. When last did you hear that Trainers have successfully stood up to the Operators and obtained concessions from the Operators? My answer is never. Phumelela is currently in the process of imposing new terms on Trainers regarding their training establishments and reducing previously agreed rights. The trainers are not able to remain unified.

    In Gold Circle territory, most OWNERS are members of one of the Gold Circle chapters.Generally, the owners who are members should be able to make changes. Why have Owners (who are also members of Gold Circle chapters) not been able to make changes in Kwa Zulu Natal? Because they do not care. The introduction of an Independent Owners Organisation cannot work, nor will Gold Circle let it work because it has no power or authority. As long Gold Circle makes promises and seems to be doing something substantive regarding changes, the Independent Owners Organisation will look good. A time will come when demands are made by the new owners organisation and Gold Circle will refuse to come to the party. Gold Circle will have the last laugh as it will have shown that the Independent Owners Organisation has no rights and Gold Circle has no duties towards it. Johannesburg is a good example. Phumelela will only negotiate with the Racing Association and does not recognize any other owners association. The Independent Owners Organisation will be treated with contempt by Phumelela.

    If puch comes to shove then Kwa Zulu Natal owners will need to use their strengths in numbers and make changes through the NHRA.

  11. Steve Chatfield says:

    I’m in

  12. Ray Curling says:

    Brian .
    If you are in charge I am in.
    The joke has been going on forever.

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