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Is Owner Unity A Swear Word?

Apathy by stakeholder group is a stumbling block

Graeme Hawkins has hit the nail on the head when he alludes to the racing Industry being ‘raped’.

Brian Burnard

It has been taken over by people and entities – including certain Owners – that are intent on taking all they can get their hands on, at any cost, to the detriment of the Sport, writes Brian Burnard in the Sporting Post Mailbag.

Read the Graeme Hawkins interview here

I have always, and still do maintain that it has to be up to the Racehorse Owners to stand together in attempting to rectify the dire situation horseracing currently finds its self in.

But alas, speaking from first hand experience, I have come to the realization that there are many Owners that are the first to complain about anything that goes wrong in the Industry, but are just not interested in standing together in an attempt to correct the situation.

I am using the recently established Independent Owners Association in KZN as a typical example.

We painstakingly canvassed Owners in KZN to join and with a great deal of effort managed to enrol 352 Members.

Our main modus operandi is to engage with all Stakeholders to better the return and experience in Horse Racing for the Owner in particular, and the Industry as a whole.

Independent Owners Association logo

The IOA initiated, and was instrumental in negotiating with Gold Circle  for the last increase in Stakes.

We have currently tabled a proposal with the Gold Circle Board which will benefit Owners tremendously ( details can’t be divulged at this time). Together with this proposal Gold Circle rightly requested the IOA to submit a list of its Membership to ascertain the support base it had in KZN.

When certain Members were contacted to confirm their Membership, they informed Gold Circle that they don’t know about the IOA, and yet the very same Members have filled in application forms joining the IOA, and been to our Meetings!

Some Owners said they no longer want to be Members because the IOA does nothing for them. This attitude now jeopardises the success of our Proposal to, and further negotiations with, Gold Circle.

The IOA held a Members Meeting in May 2017 where certain Items were discussed and debated, and a vote was taken and it was overwhelmingly agreed that a once off joining fee of R350 would be paid by each Member to assist with admin costs. These minutes were also mailed to every Member that was not present at the Meeting.

To date we have received 86 payments.

Independent Owners Association logo

I am constantly asked by Owners when we are having our next Meeting, and most of these Owners have not bothered to pay the joining Fee.

From the above it is clear to see that there is a element of mistrust, and the inability/unwillingness of Owners to stand together for the good of the Sport.

And I’m afraid it is ONLY the OWNERS, who are the primary funders, who hold the Power to alter the current disastrous path that Horse Racing is taking.

But sadly unity seams to be a swear word.

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7 comments on “Is Owner Unity A Swear Word?

  1. Loraine Karam says:

    I fully agree re the unity that seems to be a swear word,, how do you join? The problem seems to be that people are for some strange reason wanting to stand up for what is right. Why guys can we all not have the guts to to stand up for what is right and honourable?????? I believe in always standing up for what is right, come on people lets all do the right. Loraine Karam

  2. Glynis van der Merwe says:

    Because people are selfish & only think of themselves instead of the greater good. Moan all the time but it’s too much trouble to do anything about it. Typical of what our countrymen have become.

  3. Roy says:

    I understand the IOA point of view however I believe it’s simply a broken telephone line syndrome. The IOA with respect appear to have little or zero communication skills with owners. I am certain that every owner (unless against what the association stands for) will gladly participate, pay the membership fees and contribute to the extent possible. Where it all falls apart is that very little effort has todate gone into the levying of invoices or accounts, lack of continuous meetings and feedback on engagements etc. it’s unfortunate that a statement can be made that details cannot be divulged at this time … when the IOA ought to stand for transparency and progression of the sport.

    The way forward would be to approach owners to sit on the board that can add value, that have experience in the corporate environment and can actively and opening debate issues with the Goldcircle board and ensure proper owner representation on the Goldcircle board and more importantly rid the existing Goldcircle board of placeholders that are simply there to ensure self gain. More importantly, Goldcircle board members should not comprise of stakeholders that wear other competing hats example trainers! This is a recipe for disaster.

    A simple change of mindset by the IOA can prove beneficial to the industry and I applaud the intent of the IOA and simply comment to better them and further the impact they can have.

  4. Loraine Karam says:

    I applaud all the owners that will not let anybody intimidate them, just all be brave, if i can do it so can you. My Great late husband Paul Karam always said stand up for your rights, do not be bullied and show no fear, and that is how we live our lives. Please, please you know who you are be honest truthful and reply to all the many questions asked re what is happening in racing?. Please do what you are paid to do, i beg you. Show us all that you can be men. Inevitably It is going to be exposed..I am ranting on as this is seriously taking its toll on my health, and cannot wait for the end results. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt, as i am a very fair person.Loraine Karam

  5. Loraine Karam says:

    Well said Roy………

  6. Nadine says:

    Roy have you joined the IOA? If so why don’t you contact the IOA and explain your grievances? If you knew a little more about the IOA and it’s directors you would have known they are all self made businessmen that have been in the corporate environment for many years.

    Your comment is fair enough but I think give the IOA a fair enough chance and contact them and you will get valid reason for all the above.

  7. Roy says:

    Thanks Nadine. I am not a owner. It’s just comment from the outside looking in. It’s meant to push them on and not the contrary.

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