Bernard's Blog - 20 November
The Annual General Meeting of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) was held in Wellington earlier this week.
The NZTR Board now comprises – Jason Fleming, Cameron George, Bruce Sharrock, Darryll Park, Andrew Fairgray, Bruce Sherwin and Mike Clarke, with the latter taking up his role on 1 January 2021.
The AGM also farewelled chairman Alan Jackson, along with Rick Williams and Deputy Chair Victoria Carter.
Dr Jackson’s final AGM address included the following thoughts:
“Firstly, I would like to challenge the industry to recognise the changing demands of society and not lag in these areas. Examples include animal welfare, diversity and sustainability expectations – some of which are already firmly wired into government expectations. These are prerequisites to earning a social license to operate and to build a strong and loyal fan base based on respect for and love of the industry.
“Secondly, we must innovate quicker whilst respecting our heritage. The tight shackles necessitated by the “need to survive years” are lifting and we have to progress at a rapid rate to meet the expectations of the current and future participants. The initial imperatives have been flagged today and work has started, but we must look at timeframes defined in years and within years not decades.
“Thirdly, NZTR and the industry must install and insist upon independent racing and business-based governance balanced by transparent accountability, if it is to balance the increasing demands on the resources (funds, clubs, participants and administrators) required to run racing.”
He also acknowledged the work of Victoria Carter, who represented NZTR on the ARF and IFHA, and who always championed human and animal welfare during her seven years on the Board; and Rick Williams, recognising his analytical approach and ability to bring a racing lens to any decision during his time on the Board.
The new Board met following the AGM and appointed Cameron George as the interim chairman until the March 2021 NZTR Board meeting.
Prior to the AGM the inaugural NZTR Club awards were made with the following receiving awards:
NZTR Service to Racing Award: Faye Bax, nominated by Cambridge JC; Ross Coles, nominated by ARC.
Community Club of the year: Wairarapa Racing Club; runner-up, Taupo RC.
Racing Event of the Year: CJC NZ Cup meeting; runner-up, Southland RC, Christmas at the Races.
Club of the Year: Auckland Racing Club; runner-up, Tauranga RC.