ATA South Australian Branch – Members Update / South Australia / 28 Jan, 2009


The recent events involving elections for the Board of SAJC Inc and the subsequent legal action is most disappointing for the South Australian racing industry.

After the positive news of prize money increases which have been on top of the wish list of stakeholders for many years, and the long awaited support for the industry from the State Government, the court action arising from the SAJC Inc elections is a setback for the industry’s public image. Hopefully it won’t damage the industry’s relationship with the State Government.

While it should be stressed that the South Australian ATA is not taking sides on this issue, it is most disappointing to witness yet again, the South Australian racing industry showing itself to be incapable of resolving problems such as these without resorting to legal action.

There are many in the South Australian racing industry, including the ATA who have worked extremely hard to repair and re-establish a good and constructive working relationship with the State Government and it would be extremely disappointing if this was to be jeopardized by these recent events.

It is to be hoped that this issue can be resolved quickly with minimal damage to our improving but still very much fragile racing industry.


Popular South Australian trainer Mark Minervini has reapplied and been granted his training license for the 2008/2009 racing season.

In recent times, health and family issues forced Mark to relinquish his training license for a short time, and the South Australian ATA is very pleased that he has renewed his trainers license and is back doing what he enjoys. We wish him well for this season and beyond.


South Australian racing recently lost two of its stalwarts with the passing of John Stocker and Jim O’Connor. Both men were household names in the South Australian racing industry and they will be sadly missed by their many friends and family.

John Stocker was one of the finest jockeys produced by South Australia and for a considerable period of time was stable jockey for the powerful and highly successful Lindsay Park stable which at the time was headed by Hall of Fame trainer and racing legend, the late Colin Hayes. John Stocker later took out a trainers license after he retired and was a member of the ATA.

Jim O’Connor was a highly successful South Australian breeder and operated the famous Milluna Stud where he stood many well bred stallions and broodmares and bred many a good yearling and racehorse.

To both John Stocker and Jim O’Connor’s families we extend our deepest sympathies.