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Thread: The plight of one young trainer

  1. #1
    Junior Member Foal gumnut will become famous soon enough
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    The plight of one young trainer

    Thanks Wayne however the bird has flown. Leroy is walking away from the sport for the time being. In his words "its just too hard". Maybe why I am a little emotional about the industry and the way it is heading. I gave my license up for the same reason, however will need to look at getting it back to sort the paddock full of horses out before retiring altogether. Leroy has had a good introduction into the sport working with leading stables. Due to not being a big name in the industry he was not given the driving opportunities he thoroughly deserved in my biased opinion. This led to him not believing in himself as a driver and employing others to complete this chore on many occassions. As for training he trained 13 individual winners last year including the Ararat trotters cup, the home bred Vicbred final for 2 year old fillies and the ladyship in Adelaide. The stable earned over $100000 last year in stakemoney,with bonuse's included. He was over the moon to train his first metropolitan winner, which he also drove, only to have his winners interview cut short by the commentator announcing a protest. One of the stables who like winning everything, (including trials if the recent report regarding Josh Aitken is correct) protested. Thats his right to protest and the stewards right to give Aitken a warning for wasting their time. Little things like this get to me. The stable was not getting a fair go as far as i was concerned so I wrote to the minister of sport, the chairman of stewards and the CEO. In hindsight a silly idea. As far as exposure, we work horse for a little more then what it costs us. All the horses given to the stable to train have had their issues or are poorly bred. We introduce many owners to this sport. The owners are then poached by leading stables and the owners drift away. We purchased a horse at the Shepparton sale intending to sell shares. We avertised the horses shares on facebook only to receive a phone call from a HRV representative telling Leroy to take down the post as he does not have a license to syndicate horses. We were not syndicating as such, just looking for partners. As I said; "its just too hard". - anyone want to buy a horse.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stallion Danno is a jewel in the rough
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumnut View Post
    Thanks Wayne however the bird has flown. Leroy is walking away from the sport for the time being. In his words "its just too hard". Maybe why I am a little emotional about the industry and the way it is heading. I gave my license up for the same reason, however will need to look at getting it back to sort the paddock full of horses out before retiring altogether. Leroy has had a good introduction into the sport working with leading stables. Due to not being a big name in the industry he was not given the driving opportunities he thoroughly deserved in my biased opinion. This led to him not believing in himself as a driver and employing others to complete this chore on many occassions. As for training he trained 13 individual winners last year including the Ararat trotters cup, the home bred Vicbred final for 2 year old fillies and the ladyship in Adelaide. The stable earned over $100000 last year in stakemoney,with bonuse's included. He was over the moon to train his first metropolitan winner, which he also drove, only to have his winners interview cut short by the commentator announcing a protest. One of the stables who like winning everything, (including trials if the recent report regarding Josh Aitken is correct) protested. Thats his right to protest and the stewards right to give Aitken a warning for wasting their time. Little things like this get to me. The stable was not getting a fair go as far as i was concerned so I wrote to the minister of sport, the chairman of stewards and the CEO. In hindsight a silly idea. As far as exposure, we work horse for a little more then what it costs us. All the horses given to the stable to train have had their issues or are poorly bred. We introduce many owners to this sport. The owners are then poached by leading stables and the owners drift away. We purchased a horse at the Shepparton sale intending to sell shares. We avertised the horses shares on facebook only to receive a phone call from a HRV representative telling Leroy to take down the post as he does not have a license to syndicate horses. We were not syndicating as such, just looking for partners. As I said; "its just too hard". - anyone want to buy a horse.
    Unfortunately an all too familiar story, administrators the nation over are, whether willfully or unwittingly running the game for the few rather than for the many and it MUST cease before there are only a handful of stables in each area catering to an ever decreasing pool of owners.

    This sport ( and I personally prefer that term over Industry, as it is an industry to fewer participants than it is a sport) should NOT be trying to be a "me too" to the thoroughbreds, it is an entirely different game and was founded by entirely different people trying to do things in an entirely different way catering to an entirely different audience.

    When will the revolving door of administrators to our game get this?? when we the participants have a greater say in those appointments,I believe. There have been scant few who know what goes on at the grassroots level, and those that have more often than not have carried out their duties with sufficient diligence to adequately represent the majority of participants who call this game a "sport"

    The game needs every single active participant to continue, but we are chasing good people away in the droves, whilst pandering to the few, as we have done for decades in the breeding side of the game, and where has that got everyone? The game has shrunk and the costs of breeding mean only a few will survive, giving rise to another important aspect of the game being available to the few rather than the many.

    Rant over,

    Merry Christmas to everyone, hope you and your families have a bonza day tomorrow!!!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    Danny and Dan, your posts are not only interesting but a cause of real concern.
    A young man with 13 winners from 40 starters in 16-17 pulls the pin because he is smart enough to see that it is too hard/not profitable

    You look at the Vic premiership table (5 months in) and right now anyone out of the top 10 is probably not making enough to warrant a full time commitment
    Geoff Webster happens to be 10th and he has collected $131k in stakes (more than 9th placed Peter Manning)

    Emma Stewart totally dominates the table with $514k in stakes after 5 months

    http://www.harness.org.au/vic-premierships.cfm
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Colt Hermione will become famous soon enough
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    I found gumnut's post incredibly sad, the sport can ill-afford to lose any participants no matter where they are on the ladder, from breeders who provide the product, up to the punter who I am told is just as critical? Gumnut's story could easily have been penned in New Zealand so the problems seem widespread, maybe in 2018 someone will find a way to turn everything around. I have just been reading an article re Trump's holiday/Christmas about-turns over the years, he appears to brazen his way through it all, maybe we should take a leaf out of his book? Keep repeating loudly 'the industry is doing great', drown out the naysayers, people will flock/trickle to events, slowly become involved and then we'll be back on track? Oh well, it was a pleasant thought,

  5. #5
    Senior Member 4YO KTQ will become famous soon enough
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    I agree Jan. Industry participants being negative cause industry outsiders to be negative.

    The industry needs to keep up with the youth by giving them what they want. Just saw a pic of my local Busselton trots on opening night and the crowd is literally half what it normally is. I bet the club has been complacent in driving interest, relying on historical hype to drive numbers. You can't do that. Get the youth interested with live bands, food trucks, warm facilities and seating, and education. Too many old people on the committee stuck in their ways. Don't talk about how it's dying, talk about how we're improving things and do just that

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    We understand your point Katie (and it follows on from Jan's) and I know you did not mean this but let's be clear - telling Leroy's story is not being negative. It is an attempt to seek answers - the first step to improving things
    The Thin Green Line - Supporting the Rangers who protect the world's endangered animals against poachers

  7. #7
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year arlington will become famous soon enough
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    Jan and Katie, no criticism intended at all, but considering the intent of the original, Eastman thread, that is, the exposť of those who damage the image of the sport - wouldn't we, in the sport, be supportive of drowning them out of the sport quicker than we have previously?
    However, what strikes me with the news articles regarding the Court case is none of the horses returned positive swabs and just as alarming is this from the Herald Sun 21 December 2017, On December 8, 2014, Eastman is alleged to “corrupted the betting outcome” of a race at Charlton when he drenched Waterslide on race day “knowing the conduct would corrupt the betting outcome of the event.”
    Two things just from that small segment of the reporting of the case, one being - considering the number of positive TCO2's we get it's not hard to wonder the magnitude of those that go undetected. That's if we're talking about drenching/ tubing with alkalising agents, the article doesn't specify. And the second thing being the police are of the opinion stomach tubing outside the rules is a corrupt act, warranting a police charge.

    Am I a doomsayer, more so glass half empty thinker at the moment, to think stomach tubing to corrupt the result of a race would probably be linked to TCO2 in most cases but our TCO2 penalties are insufficient...at least certainly not inline with the police's thoughts (community expectations?) on it?

    Once again, it's not clear if the tubing/drenching involves non detection of TCO2 breaches but, irrespective, wouldn't a follower of the sport, a news paper reader, a $1 punter be concerned police charges, a conviction, could result in jail time (up to 10 years?) but harness racing penalties, some might think, are very lenient in comparison?
    Last edited by arlington; 12-27-2017 at 11:43 AM.

  8. #8
    Member Gelding David Martin will become famous soon enough
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    Hi everyone,


    I'm also reading this trail with sadness, as we want to encourage young people to our sport. In regards to syndications, effective 1 July 2018, ASIC increased their requirements for all states for syndications. That has meant that HRV (as the lead regulator) has had to raise requirements for anyone advertising for people to join a syndicate. There are alternative approaches and I would suggest that anyone considering a syndicate to talk to HRV (Tori Glenister or John Briffa).


    Hi Danny O'Brien, I would like to understand the sentence, 'The stable was not getting a fair go as far as i was concerned so I wrote to the minister of sport, the chairman of stewards and the CEO. In hindsight a silly idea.' I have no recollection of that correspondence, so can only assume that it occurred prior to Jan 2017? In any case, I'm happy for you to contact me directly if there are any ongoing concerns. In regards to the syndication, can I suggest that you/Leroy give John Briffa a call? If there are other factors influencing Leroy's decision, then I would be pleased to hear them because as I said, we want to lower the barriers to entry for young people.


    Cheers, David

  9. #9
    Senior Member 4YO Mighty Atom will become famous soon enough Mighty Atom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTQ View Post
    I agree Jan. Industry participants being negative cause industry outsiders to be negative.

    The industry needs to keep up with the youth by giving them what they want. Just saw a pic of my local Busselton trots on opening night and the crowd is literally half what it normally is. I bet the club has been complacent in driving interest, relying on historical hype to drive numbers. You can't do that. Get the youth interested with live bands, food trucks, warm facilities and seating, and education. Too many old people on the committee stuck in their ways. Don't talk about how it's dying, talk about how we're improving things and do just that

    Katie, this has all been tried before at GP, live bands; entertainment areas for kids; any excuse for a fireworks display. The problem is that the young people will show far more interest in the live bands than horses in carts running around the track. Years ago, when I was a teen attending GP the crowds were enormous, understandable, as there was little night time entertainment available but I think it was more than that I believe the patrons were genuinely interested in harness racing. If we really have to rely on other forms of entertainment to get people to the track then the sport is in big trouble.

    Harness racing is thriving in one state only - WA and that's despite the downturn in attendance. New South Wales and Victoria appear to be okay the other states are on a slippery slide to oblivion.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Foal gumnut will become famous soon enough
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    Danny O'Brien
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    Hi David. The letter was written prior to your appointment. The letter was written to the integrity dept and not the Chairman of Stewards. As I mentioned earlier, minister of sport and the then CEO was given a copy. Mr Anderson was the only party who did not reply
    The letter was written due to a 2 yr old trotter, Crown Dream continually being banned, either stood down or disqualified. I would email you a copy but I can’t find it.
    We as a stable continued to suffer undue treatment. Leroy tried time and time again to get his A grade trainers license only to be continually denied. Leroy bought this up with David Martin when David took the time out to come up and introduce himself after Cown Dream won the Ararat trotted cup. With David ‘s support he was granted the license upgrade the following week.
    This last month has been difficult. He gained a drive for the Kerryn Manning stable, only to face the banter of a HRV employee telling him he does not belong in those colors.
    Take the Bendigo race that Imprincessgemma won recently. Maybe she was not meant to win but we are not in the loop and rarely bet. Clearly the best horse in the race. Wins and pays over $8.00. We had 2 in the race. Imprincessgemma flies the gate and we knew she would lead. Our other horse drew 1. Made sense to get the sit behind the good horse but the stewards wanted to know why. The driver who also wanted the sit was not questioned into why he drove his horse so vigorously. Could not prove what they thought but told Leroy the horse will be swabbed again in 2 hours. One week later Imprincessgemma is leading again, pressure applied by a leading driver at the bell, his horse drops out, nothing said.
    David, little things like this do get to people. All anyone can ask for is a level playing field.
    Just a story regarding HRV promoting their favourites, mainly Melton or Shepparton trainers and drivers. Leroy coached the Western Division of the Charity football day. He was on apprentice wages. He hired a bus, drove however he could get to the footy and in some cases owed these people a favor. Every year the same junior drivers were seen promoting the day. Leroy got nothing out of the day except pride in being able to help the kids the charity was for.
    For those interested, Leroy is off to Katherine plumbing. He will return to harness racing as he has an unremitting love for horses. Also it seems we have a CEO who listens and may well understand that the raceapacer program should be supporting young trainers who are struggling to get a break. For the record Crown Dream will race in Zac Steenhouse, (wrong spelling), colors along with a nice CUF gelding.

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