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UHRA News (2/20) - Friday 16 October 2020

The following is a snapshot summation of UHRA Submission to HRNSW for the Industry’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan

UHRA Strategic Plan 2021-2023 Submission

* Wagering – the need for renegotiation of all TAB and Corporate Contracts. The Wagering Models are out of date in respect of current requirements.

* NSW Distribution – need to look perhaps a single distribution model that can lift $6k Provincial and Country A Meetings to a minimum $10k.

* SKY Channel has let Harness Racing down – poor coverage and lack of Harness Racing ‘stories’ unlike Ch 528 Thoroughbreds. No HD coverage, no lead in wagering time like Thoroughbreds, no Harness replays, etc., etc.

* Time between races - dictated by TAB. Oncourse attendance and turnover suffers with 30-40 minutes gaps between races. USA current issue is that 20 minutes between Harness races is too long!!

* Turnover – to increase same we need more races. NSW previously had strong Provincial circuit similar to Thoroughbreds who have not closed any Provincial tracks. The following have been closed: Hawkesbury, Richmond, Bulli, Fairfield, Gosford, Wyong, and previous South Coast tracks Kembla and Nowra. Current Metro Trainers now have to use Newcastle and Bathurst as ‘Provincial Tracks’ which defies logic and affects ‘local’ Trainers and Drivers.

* Licensees must be remunerated a ‘fair wage’ i.e. Thoroughbred Trainers receive 10% on significantly more Prizemoney ($125k Metro and$22k minimum Provincial and Country) compared to Harness Trainer 7.5% on Metro 18k average and $6,120k minimum Provincial and Country. Many current Harness Racing Trainers are charging less than $40 per day whereas the cost of spelling a horse has reached close to or $30 due to predominantly increased feed costs. Trainers cannot charge Owners a ‘fair cost’ wage due to poor Prizemoney.

* Marketing – we must make a concerted Professional approach in ALL Media outlets. Thoroughbreds and Greyhounds have left us standing still. We acknowledge monies can easily be misspent in this area, increased Prizemoney is our best ‘Marketing’ tool.

* Exported Horses – continue to increase, the greatest concern is for the Breeding Industry where our good race mares and future breeding mares continue to leave for USA Mares races. There is a decreasing desire to breed due to decreasing returns. The Breeders Assn have covered most of the points we would raise here with the dramatic drop in foal numbers of grave concern.

* Criticism (constructive or otherwise) – continues to be met with disdain. Participants must be allowed to GENUINELY contribute to THEIR Industry.


HRICG – Meeting Monday 12th October 2020

Chairman Mark Croatto (TAB Clubs) , Members Flora Robson (Breeders Assn) , Peter Dewsbury (Owners Assn) , Julie Maughan (Funded Non TAB Clubs) , Wally Mann (UHRA), Robert Marshall (NSWHRC)

The usual ‘robust’ meeting took place this week with the most ‘prominent’ items being Marketing and Advertising (compared to Thoroughbreds and Greyhounds) , Breeders Challenge Conditions and Prizemoney decrease and Integrity.


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