Garry’s Corner – 17 August

Garry Chittick

One of the great aspects of the horse industry is the people you meet. All walks of life that enjoy not just the horse but each other. Racing administration creates a few divisions but even then it generally is driven by the best of intentions despite various different directions to get to the end result. I have held a number of positions from club chairman to chairman of the Racing Board. The problems throughout the world are similar , with the exception of perhaps Victoria, NSW, Hong Kong, Japan and France. The rest race for stakes that relative to the cost of racing a horse require a real passion to maintain ones interest. How do the the aforementioned race ahead . Well you will note the inclusion of only two of the Australian jurisdictions, they are well run , have taken advantage of a culture that not only lauds the horse but enjoy a wager . It is part of their make up . Similar values apply throughout the remaining states without the nous running them. I won’t dwell on the detail , except to say a lot of Victoria’s and NSWs advance has occurred in the last decade , why, the right people in the right place. Hong Kong has the advantage of a captive audience, more importantly if you look at where they have come from to being Internationally regarded , look no further than their Chief Executive. France rates on the back of a large population with exposure to a very efficient parimutuel. Japan is administered by essentially the civil service, may not suit all but suits Japanese culture , certainly seems to work for them but when you have 100m people to play with the results may not reflect efficiency. USA is private enterprise should work , but apart from different interstate jurisdictions, there is a conflict of interest , stakes against dividends. England only survives by being fortunate enough to have sufficient owners with the means to race purely for the sport, lucky them . The tail end states in Australia are there for all to see and measure against their successful neighbours and we should learn from them . You must remember Australian wagering is run by listed companies, how do they manage so successfully to provide a return to both shareholders and racing , I don’t know but like you should , I intend to find out. What’s the point of all this, we are not subjected to share our spoils. If, as ,seems to be espoused that we should operate under licence to say Tab Corp and still be significantly better off what does that tell us . I’ll leave you to work it out. A great deal has been written about Nick Colomb, rightly so . I first met him at the peak of his success , great company , not necessarily a great listener, but great to listen to . Positivity was his second name. Not many of you will know when a public company ,Waikato Stud , Nick was for a time Chairman . He told me he did in fact hold at one stage hold 50% of the shares. During this time he was responsible for the development of the the current Waikato logo , of which he constantly reminded me. That logo in fact was the first accepted by the VRC, they couldn’t work out if it was a logo or just a great set of colours. Nick and I drove around Waikato on his last visit. You know he said , I owned this place, but I would have become bored, it’s better in your hands . Part of our acquisition was Courtsa, Tisolde, Tramurea all previously owned by Nick . Thanks Nick , it was great to be part of your adventures. Cheers Waikato

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