At a meeting held recently by the Qld Branch of the Australian Trainers Association, it was unanimously decided that specific and immediate action is undertaken to force a review of the current plan made by Racing Queensland in relation to prize-money. The meeting, held at the Hamilton Hotel, was well attended by the major Metropolitan Trainers along with a strong contingent from Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
After hearing points of view from the Presidents of both the Qld Owners Assoc (QROA) and the Qld Breeders Assoc (TBQA), the members of the ATA in Qld are pressing forward to tackle this issue. The members all agree that prize-money levels in Queensland across the board need immediate and significant increases. The Breeders, Owners and the Trainers own and operate the main players in the game being the horses, and currently there is a distinct lack of confidence that the powers that are put in place by our Government are acting in any way in our best interests.
The simple fact that in the last 5 years there has been little to no increase in the amount of prize-money offered at our midweek / Saturday Metropolitan meetings and our provincial tracks, when it plainly obvious that these venues would account for the majority of income in the form of betting turnover, is evidence enough that things have to change. With continually increasing costs, not to mention the unforseen natural disasters Qld has recently faced, it is only a matter of time before more of our trainers are forced to leave the industry or have owners insist on racing their horses in Southern States.
Along with the major outcome of the meeting being the decision made by our members that serious action needs to be taken, the other positive result is the commitment made between the 3 major parties. The Breeders, Owners and Trainers are the backbone and heart of our industry, and forming a united front in an effort to realise a common goal we feel will be very beneficial.
Australian Trainers Association