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Chief Executive's View, December 2001

As we come to the end of another busy and challenging year a series of quotes from various sources highlight valuable facts and figures, themes of the NZTBA's current work and issues faced by domestic and international thoroughbred industry.

"A major finding was that the contribution of the horse industry to the Australian economy was over $6.2 billion a year. If the value of volunteer labour was included the contribution would be over $8 billion a year. While racing and associated activities (breeding and gambling) contribute a little over half, horse businesses, equestrian events and breed events and the maintenance of horses are very large industries in themselves. The horse industry is a large contributor to the Australian economy and¡Kis comparable to many other industries which have always been regarded by government as being large and important, for example, the livestock industry which contributes around $7 billion a year to the Australian economy."
- RIRDC Equine Research News, Issue 3/01, summary of its newly published report The Contribution of the Horse Industry to the Australian Economy

The Victoria Racing Club Annual Report 2001 is worth reading from cover to cover. I found the following statistics and comments most interesting, and noted especially the constant use of the word industry:
"In serving the needs of the Club's diverse Membership base, the Committee is committed to adding value to the Membership. The introduction of the Members' Rewards Program from the commencement of 2001/2002 Season is one way the Club will thank and reward Members for their continued support. [The VRC Membership now totals 19,645.]
Raceday Contribution, an important industry measure of the Club's ability to conduct and operate profitable racemeetings, increased from $13,066,000 to $14,829,000 in the 2000/2001 season."
"The primary objective of the Challenge 2005 Business Plan is to return to owners all of the funding generated by the Industry's Joint Venture with TABCORP in 2005. To achieve this the Industry needs to generate additional revenues from Raceday and other business activities totalling approximately $40 million. Specific growth targets have been allocated to the metropolitan clubs and Country Racing Victoria who are in turn focussed on implementing their own business plans."
"A report on the Size and Scope of the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry revealed that more than $5.2 billion has been invested in capital assets and jobs over the past five years."

"Despite the best efforts of Turf and Jockey Clubs the world over to administer and fund racing, the countries where racing is most vibrant and best placed to meet modern challenges are the ones where the industry and government work together as a progressive partnership. Some see the advent of government involvement as dark and sinister, but the role models in Japan, Australia and the USA prove co-operation to be an absolute necessity."
- John Magnier, Coolmore; from the introduction to Coolmore's 2001 Stallion Book

"On a sunny September Saturday, a young couple a rare phenomenon at the track give their prescription for racing's future. 'They should emphasize horses, not gambling. There are too many other places to gamble.'"
- from Billon-Dollar Horse Play by Bethany McLean, Fortune, October 29, 2001

"I predict that with in the next 12 to 24 months, someone will clone a horse."
- Professor Ed Squires, Equine Reproduction Laboratory & Equine Sciences Program, Colorado State University, in RIRDC Equine Research News. Issue 3/01

- Michael Martin


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