Monday, December 01, 2008
New Zealand racing up, but caution for future

Guy Sargent, Chairman of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), issued a cautionary forecast for racing at Thursday’s NZTR AGM in Christchurch.

“While New Zealand racing is arguably in the best health it has ever been with a 30% increase in returns to owners over the previous season, the New Zealand Racing Board forecasts are a warning to all. Due to economic conditions, 2008-09 turnovers are forecast to be down approximately 8.5% on budgets and profits forecast to be down $16 million across the industry.” “Flowing through to the thoroughbred code, this equates to approximately a 12% decrease to the thoroughbred’s code funding. This trend is expected to continue into 2009-10. We are working with the Racing Board and the other two codes to work out the best way forward in smoothing the anticipated impact.”

Sargent also confirmed changes to the NZTR Board. “I welcome Bill Gianotti (Northern Region), Michael McCurdy (Small Clubs), and John McGifford (Central Region) to the Board. George Ritchie (Southern Region) was elected unopposed and the Trainers' Association has reappointed Dennis Ryan. David Smith (Northern Region), Marion Stevenson (Southern Region), Mr Peter Hutt (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association), John Rennie (Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners’ Federation) and myself (Central Region) continue in office.” Sargent was re-elected to the chair by the Board for a further 12-month term.