Garry’s Corner – 23 November

Garry Chittick

Sorry about last week but I figured the two of you would fully understand that my having a couple of days at Kinloch would not have a great effect on the income I will be required to declare, but I miscalculated the emotional affect withdrawal would have on the two of you. I apologise.

Mind you, the effect of this weeks Ready to Run Sale will have a far greater emotional result than any of my musings. Horse sales are always moments of mixed reactions, I have always believed for example that as a vendor I am entitled to have an opinion on the value of my product. Not so if you are the auction company, you know the group of well uninformed know all’s who inspect the horse you have spent two years from birth in the case of the recent sale, three years from conception only to be authoritatively told let the market determine the value. Better than that why did you use that stallion three years ago, surely you could have seen as they did that the 10 million they received commission on was not going to work.

Don’t blame anybody but yourself for the lack of buyers, if you had bred the right horse, you know the one they have never bred we would have had buyers fighting in the ring. Bugger do you realise the effect you have had on my 10%. Oh me oh my, we all need someone to blame. Seriously! Aren’t we lucky we can focus on 1, The Board 2, The Other Board, 3, Winston, where the ——— is Winston, 4, The D.I.A,who the hell are they, 5, The All Weather Track, we already have those, we race in all weather 6,What about the lack of senior jockeys, well of course there’s a shortage, we can overcome it if we ignore all their indiscretions 7, Trainers, absolutely no justification for the size of their accounts, they should be driving a Skoda, cut out that month in Hawaii, 8, VETS need I say more, 9 What about the new labour laws, no more the opportunity to test anyone’s suitability 90 days gone 10, The stud, service fees too high, no take that back, I could go on but seriously it all adds up to life.

However, that doesn’t make it any easier if it’s your backside that’s being kicked. When Mary and I naively ventured into this adventurous business with a broken down son of Nijinsky and 5 k2 mares Micheal Floyd of the then Wrightsons Bloodstock gave me an hour of well-intentioned advice, like what the hell do you think you are getting into. It was no better on my second visit he explained politely he was busy and shut the door. Should have listened!

What’s my point, nothings easy, there are no free rides, neither there should be but we Kiwis are nothing if not dogmatic, we love a challenge and this game serves up plenty, is it more than other agricultural pursuits I think so mainly because most don’t have numbers to spread the risk.

Owners say to me they are having a bad run, get more I say. So, back to the sale. Ready to Run Sales are remarkably difficult to read. Every year is quite different, we in NZ have an envious reputation as the Southern Hemisphere sale to buy at ironically based on the acceptance of our need to sell because of the level of reward racing provides. I have always believed in life there is way out, usually it can be worked out.

My best selling book was titled Make a Decision, Make it Work, you can see why it was whipped off the self. But, in our game now we are not being given that freedom of thought and opportunity, that you take a chance, make a decision, have a go. I am starting to believe regardless of Winston’s well-intentioned support at the end of the day it’s up to us. How. How do we grab it, whatever it may be? The two of you are the start, agree on something. I have said it before the FIRST area where the fog needs to lift is a clear understanding of how we got here.

There will be vendors who will on a smaller scale working on lifting their personal fog. They will do it because they have to. My first advice would be it’s your patch ignore the snipes that hurt when it’s been your turn to have your arse kicked, remember those well-intentioned, uninformed can’t help, they haven’t sat where you are. There have been some great sales, we at Waikato Stud with the help and expertise of the young Jamie Beatson were well rewarded for our years of perseverance. I am not going to boast because that’s not our style but I can tell you if the advice we didn’t ask for had been implemented we would not be here today.

So, are there parallels, is the fog we breeders need to lift similar to any other fog, of course. The just-concluded sale rode on the back of three clearly directed administrations NSW, RACING VICTORIA, and HONG KONG. It can be done,!!! Cheers G

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