Bernard's Blog: 12 Apr 19

Bernard Saundry
12 April 2019

Connections of Wekaforce  Photo: The Galloping Wekas

I’m told there are some people out there who seem to think that the office at NZTR is just one giant sausage roll-fuelled morning tea. 

In fact, there was a gentleman at one of our recent Venue Plan consultation meetings who was so convinced that our office was filled with drivers of late-model BMWs and Mercedes that I extended an invitation for him to come along and find out for himself.  

After a morning spent meeting the staff and being filled in on their morning commutes – predominantly public transport and not a flash European car among them – he realised his perceptions were off the mark.  He left with a new appreciation of the work that, in particular, the dedicated crew in the Stud Book and Registrations, do each day.

When it comes to the sausage rolls and morning teas though, I must confess that the NZTR office did enjoy one of those on Friday.   The reason being a long-standing tradition where those who had a winner over the previous week shouted morning tea for the team – this week we had two winning horses.

That brings me to another misconception, one I know causes some irritation among the NZTR team, and that is that they have no “skin in the game.” 

Bearing that in mind, we did a little tally on Friday morning and discovered that 20 of the 42 NZTR staff members have an interest in a horse.  That number is impacted slightly by the fact that the likes of the handicapping team are not permitted to race horses.

All this talk of ownership numbers stemmed from a post by AusHorse during the week which gave a breakdown of racehorse owners internationally.

According to them 1 in 244 people in Australia have a share in a racehorse; in Ireland it is 1 in 1272; Great Britain is 1 in 5858; the USA it is 8215; and in France just 1 in 13970.

Then we looked at the New Zealand numbers to find we sit in behind Australia at with 1 in every 313 Kiwis being engaged in racehorse ownership.

Of course, in order to keep those owners engaged we need to ensure we give them a race day experience that makes them feel special.  

What you will see rolling out over the coming months is a new look sub-brand LOVE RACING.OWN RACING, which will differentiate owners’ areas on course, giving them an identity and confirming that prestigious perception of ownership.

The first places you will notice this is at various owners’ areas at Ellerslie, Riccarton and Awapuni which have already begun to be fitted out.

The sub-brand will also provide owners with a consistent look and feel across the communications they receive from NZTR and other owner-related material we roll out in the future. 

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