Overview & Structure
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Inc (NZTR) is the governing body of the thoroughbred code in New Zealand. Essentially it supplies the thoroughbred product for wagering and sporting customers and is ‘captain of the team’ for the thoroughbred code. More specifically its exists to:
- Draw up and action the thoroughbred code’s Business Plan, including performance targets, set the distribution policy and allocate funds within the thoroughbred code to maximize and sustain financial benefits.
- Define, regulate and amend the policies and Rules of Racing of the thoroughbred code.
- Represent the interests of thoroughbred code stakeholders, principally the 67 thoroughbred racing clubs operating on 51 galloping tracks.
- Supply central secretariat services for the thoroughbred code – including keeping the New Zealand Stud Book (recording the activities of the more than 9000 broodmares pastured in New Zealand), maintaining the handicap, licensing trainers, jockeys and apprentices, registering all racing stock, publishing industry and code publications and information including maintaining New Zealand’s largest racing database and supplying complete raceday form for all of the country’s 325 thoroughbred racedays, collection of fees and payment of stakes and percentages, and taking nominations and withdrawals for all meetings by the National Racing Bureau.
- Develop all equine training programmes in New Zealand and run dedicated apprentice schools in the main racing regions.
- Communicate all relevant information to all its customers within and outside the thoroughbred code.
- Foster increased awareness, interest, participation and investment in the thoroughbred code.
NZTR is based in Wellington with a full-time staff of 27. For a full list of staff contact details, please visit our Contacts page. Its offices are in the same building as TAB NZ, Trackside TV, and the Greyhound Racing New Zealand.
Currently NZTR is governed by a Board of seven Directors.
At the NZTR AGM on 15 December 2010, Thoroughbred Racing Clubs throughout New Zealand agreed to support the process of the selection of a new independent Board to run NZTR. A Members’ Council was set up and charged with responsibility for all aspects of the appointment of six independent Directors.
The current Members’ Council comprises Chair Paul Humphries (central region), Geoff Vazey (northern), Nigel Tiley (trainers & jockeys), Eliott Cooper (central), John Thompson (breeders), Jeff McCaull (southern), Howard Clarke (southern), Karyn Fenton-Ellis (northern), and Bernard Hickey (owners).
A Board of ten Directors, elected on a regional and sector basis, was replaced by six appointed, independent directors.
Appointments to the Board are for three year terms and for a maximum of three terms, that is, an initial term and two further terms of three years each.
Board of Directors
Cameron George - Chairman
Cameron George joined the Board in May 2019, following his appointment by the NZTR Members' Council. Cameron is an experienced Racing & Sports Administrator having previously served as NZTR’s Chief Stipendiary Steward and the Chief Executive of the Auckland Racing Club. He is the current Chief Executive of the Vodafone Warriors. Cameron replaced board member Rodger Finlay, who retired following the NZTR Annual General Meeting in December 2018.
Jason is Managing Director of a financial services company based in Hawke’s Bay. Jason holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from Victoria University. Following admission to the Bar he developed a career in structured finance overseas and upon his return to NZ was the CEO of East Coast Racing and Hawke’s Bay Racing Incorporated. He has been active in the Thoroughbred industry as a breeder and owner after developing a deep appreciation for the industry whilst working as a stable hand for champion trainer John Wheeler during holidays from studies. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and is also involved in a number of not-for-profit organisations in Hawke’s Bay.
Bruce Sharrock(Appointed September 2019) Bruce has had over 20 years in the professional Sports Management Industry. He is currently a founding Director of Esportif, a Global leader in the management of leading Rugby Union and Rugby League talent as well as providing advisory services to many professional clubs and national Unions through the Esportif Intelligence Division. The company now has offices across the Globe in all the major Rugby playing nations. Bruce has owned and bred Thoroughbreds and been part of a racing family all his life. His late father Bob also had a lifelong involvement, while his brother Allan currently holds a trainers licence.
Mike ClarkeMike has had over 30 years of business experience across a wide range of industries including gaming and wagering. Most recently he spent five years as a Partner with KPMG (stepping down December 2020) and prior to that spent eight years with SkyCity as Chief Information Officer. He has worked in the UK, Asia, and Australia with technology organisations to support business transformation. Following a lifelong passion, he has been active in the Thoroughbred industry as an owner. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Directors. He will join the Board in January 2021.
Darryll has over 35 years business experience across several industries, and currently works in the hospitality sector in Christchurch. He has been involved in the equine sector from the age of 10, riding trackwork out of his late uncle Ken Thomson’s Riccarton and Otaki stables. Darryll was also shown the art of driving standardbreds by his grandfather whose family (Bryce) trained/drove 6 NZ Cup winners. That love of horses followed him into adulthood by breeding and racing thoroughbreds with mother Greta and late stepfather Tom Lalor. Being a long-time sponsor at the CJC the last 25 years, has given him much personal pleasure in being able to support the industry with associated corporate networks. His business management background encompassed roles with Air New Zealand, Canterbury Marketing, Gullivers Group (private and public), ‘multi-national’ Campus Living Villages, and currently Oxford Management Group. Governance experience has come from tenures with Canterbury Rugby (21 years), Crusaders Rugby (8years), Civil Aviation Authority (7 years), Aviation Security Service (6 years). Community based ‘not-for-profits’ have featured in the past along with being accorded a Fellowship with the Institute of Management (2003) and Accredited Member status of the Institute of Directors (2009).
Andrew FairgrayAndrew has an extensive background in IT&T over more than 25 years. He is currently Chief Business Office at 2degrees. He is passionate supporter of leveraging technology and believes we are about to start a new wave of convergence where Media and Telecommunications combine to monetise the consumers appetite for real time content. The opportunity to leverage his local and global experience to bring the best of these worlds together through innovation and transformation to benefit the NZTR is a driving force behind why he applied for the vacant Director role. He is passionate about the thoroughbred industry and how it contributes to New Zealand Inc. He is personally involved in breeding and racing horse via his company JETA Group.
Bruce SherwinBio to follow
Bernard Saundry - Chief ExecutiveBernard Saundry succeeded Greg Purcell as Chief Executive of NZTR in June 2017. Bernard has been actively involved in the Australian racing, sports and entertainment sector for more than 35 years. He has considerable experience at the top level of racing administration in Australia. Most notably, Bernard spent 14 years with Racing Victoria Ltd, stepping down in December 2016 after a four year stint as Chief Executive. He was previously the Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Director, Racing Development Director and Chief of Staff with RVL. Bernard also spent time as the CEO of the Western Bulldogs Football Club and eight years as Chief Executive of Harness Racing Victoria. Prior to joining HRV, he was the administration and marketing manager for the Moonee Valley Racing Club. Bernard has been a director for a number of companies that manage and develop key business activities of the racing industry including media, wagering, integrity and intellectual property.
For a full list of staff contact details, please visit our Contacts page.