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 Board of 10 Directors, elected on a regional and sector basis, was replaced by a Board of 5-7 appointed, independent directors. The NZTR Members’ Council was set up and charged with responsibility for all aspects of the appointment of independent Directors.
The current Members’ Council comprises Chair Jeff McCall (southern region), Deputy Chair Geoff Vazey (northern), John Elstob (northern), Eliot Cooper (central), Sam Trotter (central), Simon Williamson (southern), Tony Pike (trainers & jockeys), John Thompson (breeders), and Bernard Hickey (owners).
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.
Mike is a Director and Board Advisor with more than 30 years of business experience across a range of industries including gaming. He was a Consulting 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 is active in the Thoroughbred industry as an owner and breeder. Mike is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors (CMInstD).
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 SherwinBruce is the managing director of the Cambridge thoroughbred stud Raffles Farm (www.raflesfarm.com). He studied as an accountant (Waikato University – Bachelor of Management Studies) and worked in public practice before landing a broadcasting contract with the Macau Jockey Club. During his time there he also worked for the Hong Kong Jockey Club before returning home. Bruce continues to broadcast part-time in New Zealand. Bruce was 11 years treasurer of the Cambridge Jockey Club – the largest training centre in Australasia, and currently sits on the New Zealand Pattern Committee.
Andrew FlexmanAndrew is currently an investment advisor with Forsyth Barr, Cambridge. A former lawyer, sports administrator and current thoroughbred owner, Flexman has previously been the Chief Executive of the Chiefs Rugby Club and has a wealth of experience in fan engagement, sports management, and entertainment.
Dean LawrenceDean is currently a consultant to the International Monetary Fund. Prior to that he held various roles with the Inland Revenue Department. A former president of the Otago Racing Club and GallopSouth Board member, Lawrence combines international experience with a depth of racing administration experience and knowledge while also including longstanding thoroughbred ownership and breeding interests.
Bruce Sharrock - Chief ExecutiveBruce Sharrock took up the role of NZTR Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on 4 April, 2022, replacing Bernard Saundry who had held the role since June 2017. Sharrock was previously NZTR’s Chief Operations Officer and prior to that, a member of NZTR’s Board of Directors. For the past 20+ years Sharrock has successfully founded and led his own international business in sports management, whilst actively involved in the Thoroughbred industry. He has a proven track record in leadership, combined with industry knowledge and relationship. Bruce intends to continue to build on the momentum already underway at NZTR, taking the organisation into new territory. He understands the priorities for our industry and the actions required to create a sustainable future for thoroughbred racing.
For a full list of staff contact details, please visit our Contacts page.