Bernard's Blog: 17 May 19

Bernard Saundry
17 May 2019

Salvation Army Welfare Support Staff team member Andrew McKerrow photo: Supplied

Last week I was able to address the annual racecourse managers’ conference in Napier about a range of actions which NZTR has undertaken over the past 12 months which impact on them.

The conference provides a great opportunity for our track mangers to get together and hear from a range of speakers as well as meeting up with a variety of suppliers.

While you might think it was all fertiliser and grass seeds, there was also plenty of food for thought on other issues.

Andrew McKerrow and Dianna Young who offer welfare support to our industry delivered an address on dealing with stress and burnout in the workplace.  The importance of looking after our own mental well-being cannot be emphasised enough and it is something I encourage everyone engaged in our industry to take very seriously.

If you are wondering about the role that Andrew and Dianna play, then it is well worth looking at the Facebook page for Racetrack Support – NZ.

Among the items that the NZTR presentation to the track managers touched on were:

  • Appointment of Todd Treweek as NZTR Track Advisor
  • Abandonment process
  • Moisture meter rollout
  • Plastic running rails and overhead gates
  • Track management plans
  • Track renovations
  • Seed trial
  • Machinery assessment

As we are all aware the state of our tracks is something which is very much front of mind for the entire industry at present.  We are all cognisant of the need to present safe and consistent tracks for both racing and training and as such we appreciate the efforts of our track managers.

This week on our website you will see our track managers providing video footage in the days leading up to their next race meeting, where they will share information about irrigation and how they expect the track to come up on race day. 

At the dinner on the final day of the conference, NZTR’s Tim Lambert presented long time NZTR track advisor Gary Foskett with an NZTR Service Award in recognition of his lengthy contribution to the industry (see the article here).

While I began the week at the track managers’ conference, I ended it at Karaka, taking in the Racing Minister’s address at the commencement of NZ Bloodstock’s May sale.

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