Bernard's Blog - 20 September
Murray Baker, recipient of the NZTR Outstanding Contribution to Racing Award, is interviewed by Caitlin O'Sullivan.
The more observant will have noticed a small but subtle change to the NZTR logo on our website over the past couple of weeks.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has now adopted a Maori version of its name – Purei Hōiho Nāti o Aotearoa – which will now be a permanent part of our logo.
NZTR’s chairman, Alan Jackson, announced the name at this year’s Horse of the Year awards, which occurred on the eve of Te Wiki o Te Reo, Maori Language week, and in his speech, he acknowledged the fact that Maori have been part of our industry from its inception. Interestingly, while having a discussion regarding highlighting Maori jockeys and trainers, most in the office found it difficult to come up with a definitive list. The feeling was that, within racing, we didn’t define our people that way, they were just jockeys and trainers.
We were faced with a range of options regarding our choice of Maori name, with translations dependant upon regional preferences. However, given that our office is based in Wellington we sought guidance and direction from those at the Otaki Maori Racing Club – the world’s only Maori racing club – when determining our name.
We offer them a vote of thanks for assisting us on the journey to further demonstrate the industry’s inclusiveness.
It was great to be able to use an evening such as the Horse of the Year Awards to launch the name in front of a room of more than 500 industry participants.
The Awards evening was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the successes across our industry during the past season. One thing which was interesting to note across the evening was the incredible energy and excitement large syndicates bring to evenings such as this.
Not just the successful syndicate around our 2019 Horse of the Year Melody Belle, but also the large number who were on stage to acknowledge our jumper of the year Jackfrost. These horses, and many of our other winners and finalists, all attracted large support crews who came along to enjoy the evening. On behalf of NZTR I would like to thank them for contributing to a fabulous evening. To see the full list of winners click here.