ATA Victorian Branch – Members Update / Victoria / 10 Sep, 2009

TRACK PREPARATION POLICY

The ATA has met with the RVL Infrastructure team and reiterated the importance of reminding all Victorian Track Managers of complying with the RVL Track Preparation Policy as we enter the warmer months between Spring and Autumn.

RVL Track and Facilities Manager Charlie Stebbing is undertaking regular venue inspections and will be liaising closely with Track managers to reiterate both the Policy and identify areas that may need addressing.

While the weather conditions in the warmer months will continue to be challenging, it is imperative that Track Managers adhere to the Track Preparation Policy to minimise the fallout from injuries caused by hard tracks and the inability of horses to perform to their optimum levels, as a result of non-compliance with the formal Policy.

The ATA has been consistent in its support for the Track Preparation Policy since its introduction and will continue to monitor compliance with the policy over the next several months.

CALLS FOR CHANGES TO WHIP RULES

At the time of going to press, the ATA had written to the Australian Racing Board calling for changes to the new whip rules.

The ATA strongly advocated that the new rules be amended to allow jockeys the appropriate discretionary use of the whip over the crucial concluding stages of a race, so that owners, trainers and jockeys are not unfairly penalised by the result of a race, where the rules, as they exist, have been transgressed.

The ATA is mindful of and recognises the importance of ensuring that whips are not used excessively, and in this regard, accept the introduction of the padded whip and the restrictions before the 200m. However, the new rules, as they stand, in relation to the use of the whip in the concluding stages of a race are unworkable and have the capacity to disenfranchise many of its participants.

While accepting that whips should not be used indiscriminately in races, the ATA believes that the rules of racing provide adequate opportunities for Stewards to penalise jockeys for such breaches of the rules of racing.

The ATA raised these very concerns in its submission to the ARB before the rules were introduced.

RIP JACQUIE LITTLE

It is with great sadness that the racing community reacted to news of the death of Jacquie Little, wife of trainer Colin Little, a long time member of the ATA Victorian Branch Committee.

Jacquie, a popular personality in the Victorian racing community, operated and hosted the very popular and successful boutique bed and breakfast venue, Lord Lodge, at their historic homestead on Booran Road adjoining Caulfield Racecourse. Lord Lodge hosted many interstate trainers and owners during Victorian racing carnivals.

While bravely battling her long term illness, Jacquie still managed to complete and publish “Starting Price”, her fictional novel based on the racing industry.

The ATA extends our condolences to Colin and James on this sad loss.