Dear Stakeholders,

With the first quarter of the 2023/24 racing season completed, NZTR’s Welfare team wanted to update industry participants on the 1% Levy on prizemoney.

As of 31October, the 1% fund spend for the current season was NZ$250,025, we have outlined details of the funding allocation below.

One of the new initiatives the 1% Levy funded was the Kick Up for Kiwis workshops. These workshops were well attended by participants from a variety of roles in the industry and the feedback we received gives us confidence that people who attended gained some key learnings that they can take forth into their day-to-day activities.

We know that Thoroughbred welfare and protecting racing’s social licence are industry-wide responsibilities and the Kick Up for Kiwis workshops were a great way to start conversations and learn how to constructively defend our industry, while showcasing the positive side to animal welfare critics. S

econd career sponsorship continues to be an important part of the 1% Levy. It is imperative we further incentivise Thoroughbred ownership as the sport horse breed of choice, this will drive demand for off-the-track Thoroughbreds giving them the opportunity for a purposeful second career.

To date this season there are over 470 Thoroughbreds registered for the Thoroughbreds in Equestrian Sports (TiES) Series. Particularly pleasing is that 93 of these were new registrations from August 2023.

After consultation with the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), we will support ridden Thoroughbred show horse classes this season. An Accumulator Series which will be further developed in the 2024/25 season.

The RAS Horse Equestrian Executive felt that it was too late to pull together a full-on Series for the 2023-24 term but will aim to revamp the Series together with increased sponsorship going forward.

Polo continues to be a wonderful advocate for the versatility of Thoroughbreds. The summer calendar has been published with events across the country and I encourage you to head along to a tournament and see for yourself how well-suited Thoroughbreds are to Polo as a second career, you won’t be disappointed. You can find the calendar HERE.

I’d like to recognise the importance of our Acknowledged Retrainers network and the challenges they have endured this season. There has been decreased demand for off-the-track Thoroughbreds over the past year, with weather and the financial climate likely contributing factors.

NZTR Acknowledged Retrainers have continued to provide a valuable service to the industry despite these challenges and we can all do our bit to help mitigate some of these issues.

The onus is on us to ensure any horse consigned to an Acknowledged Retrainer is delivered in good body condition, recently shod, and with full disclosure of physical and behavioural history. If these initial needs aren’t met, the 1% Levy is used to help cover costs, meaning it is redirected from other areas.

If you require additional support, would like to share ideas or tell us your story about a Thoroughbred in its second career, please do not hesitate to reach out to NZTR’s Welfare team thoroughbredwelfare@nztr.co.nz.

Justine Sclater
NZTR Head of Welfare and Sustainability

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