The Corner with Garry Chittick

I have just returned from a drive around the Stud. This still gives me great pleasure, and so it should. In this modern day and with technology, every horse on the property can be identified on my phone. Some I can identify, but when there are 600 horses on the place, it would be stretching the truth to suggest I can name the lot.

The dry period is annoying. We are green but feed is at a premium. Fortunately the mares and weanlings look great – we are indeed fortunate to be rearing horses in NZ. The question is do we want to continue? I am not referring to Waikato, but generally.

I have been made aware of the downward trend of our broodmare population. I will not preempt the publication of this information which will be the subject of our most incisive racing journalist Brian de Lore’s next blog, but suggest you look out for this publication. Suffice to say the news is far from positive. My Corner will focus on who and how the charge to change will come from or do we care?

I care, not because it is the motor that drives my lifestyle, no I care because our sport was such an important part of our culture. I care because the brand benefits NZ derived from our success throughout the Australasian region has probably never been truly valued. I care because the cross section of participants who enjoyed the collective interaction around the horse had unique set of values.

It is easy to be the critic. It is difficult to provide the answers, but as always, a good start is leadership. We may have that leadership – a new Chief Executive, a Board. Well, you be the judge, the Racing Board is dominated by non-racing backgrounds. Do they care? My point is, how would we know?

Someone needs to recognise the urgency required. Unless you, my five readers, and I show the passion required it may soon be too late to care. The late Martin Luther King said the biggest threat to democracy is those who say nothing. Perhaps this is true of racing. 


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