Today On The Bit Racing (TBR) has posted a long diatribe on Facebook claiming that a smear campaign is being conducted against the company by a ‘minority group’ who are ‘picking apart as many points as they can to discredit everyone involved’.
Given that this website is a vociferous critic of the poor quality of country racing vision provided by OTBR, and given the fact that Matt Peters who heads the organisation had made numerous hollow threats to sue us for our comments about the company, we can only assume that this site and its author (me, Archie) are included in this so called ‘minority group’ running the ‘smear campaign’, and we feel compelled to reply.
Firstly let me say that we are massive fans of Queensland country racing, and since the very day our website was created we have promoted racing in the bush at every opportunity. In fact we did so this very morning when we wrote an article lauding the achievements of the wonderful young jockey Tahlia Fenton, who rode a hat trick at Thangool yesterday afternoon. We live in regional Far North Queensland, own and race horses at provincial and country meetings, and are regular attendees at bush meetings across the State.
I can also unequivocally say that we are not part of any group at all, other than being supporters of the Katter Australia Party, and members of the Cairns Jockey Club, the Kuranda Traders Association, the Port Douglas Community Centre, various other local community groups, a professional writers association, an artists collective, and the RACQ.
Further to that, let me say on my daughters lives that we are passionate advocates for the broadcasting of country racing, and have been supporters of the concept from the start back a couple of years ago in the volunteer days, when people did the best they can and did it for free, or with money out of their own pockets anyway. Sadly we were unable to assist in a hands on way because we were caring full time for our Charleville born and raised Dad during his losing battle with cancer, but from the get go we were big fans and regularly wrote stories boosting the broadcasts and trying to encourage Racing QLD to throw funds at it.
So any suggestion by OTBR, Mr and/or Mrs Peters that we are haters and wreckers trying to ruin having non-Tab race shown live is absolute bunkum, and bullshit to boot.
We are fans, not enemies.
Our criticisms are about a large sum of public money being granted to a for-profit company that is simply not delivering the goods. We don’t go digging to try and throw dirt at OTBR, quite to the contrary – we try to watch the races that they are paid hefty six-figure sums to show us on their website, and week after week we can’t get any coverage, and it gives us the shits. We show out readers exactly what we see – or often don’t see – and it’s just not good enough, and if you think it is then your expectations must be very low.
Let’s call spades spades here.
On The Bit Racing tendered for a contract at a price. The contract was to provide good quality broadcast vision of country racing, and the price tendered was set by the bidder, who in this case was OTBR. So don’t go giving me bullshit about the company being underfunded Mr Peters, because if it is then it’s no-one’s fault but yours. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Your company won a contract at a price that you bid to give all of us who love bush racing the chance to watch our horses run, live we thought. And you are just not doing it.
That’s our number beef.
Our second one is to do with David Reynolds being nominated for the Country Trainer of the Year Award at a time when he was both facing serious charges that we all know the nature of but can’t say, and was being held on remand in custody after the police opposed his bail on the basis of breaches of it, and the Magistrate wasn’t prepared to risk the welfare of the complainants in the matters by granting it to him.
Like I said earlier, I have daughters, two of them, and I have a wife and a sister and a sister-in-law and cousins and aunties and I used to have a Mum and a Grandma too, and I loved them. So much so that I risked jail to protect a couple of them when they were threatened by so-called men, and I would do it again tomorrow if the need arose. I love, admire and respect women, and believe to the core of my soul that any male who lays a hand on one is a lowlife coward and a weak grub, and I say it to their faces too.
We are not saying David Reynolds is guilty of the charges he faces. That’s not our role, it’s the juries, if the matter gets any further than a plea and sentencing. But what we are saying is just like in the NRL under the no fault rule, a person who is accused of doing what Reynolds is accused of doing must be stood down from their sport until they are convicted or cleared, and under no circumstances whatsoever should they be nominated for a prestigious award.
If you disagree with me then that’s fine, I respect your right to hold an alternative opinion. But don’t be under any illusions that I will class it as okay, because I won’t. I will simply think that you are a dickhead too. The whole Reynolds thing was a disgrace, and it was a slap in the face to women in racing too. I just won’t cop it, and I find it sad that some people see fit to make excuses for those who do, and if you reckon I’m just posturing then there are plenty female racing people that I have publicly supported who will be able set you straight.
That brings me to me third gripe about OTBR, and that is the lack of public transparency in the company’s financial accounts.
There is none.
That’s easily fixed though. All OTBR has to do is publish its tender document, it’s awarded RQ contract, and the company accounts, and everything will be sweet. Hell, if what they are telling us in their lengthy ‘poor me’ Facebook page whingeing about not having enough money to do what they signed a contract to do, and to do it properly, then surely it would benefit them greatly and shut up the whingers if they opened up the books and showed us how poorly off they are. If they did, then we might even be able to help them with a media campaign to lobby Racing Queensland and the Government for more dough.
So here’s simple challenge to Matt Peters.
You’ve got the website, you’ve got the paperwork, so scan or take pictures of the documents and post them.
Just for clarity, and to remind you, the documents I am talking about are these.
- The tender document that you submitted to RQ, including the figure you bid, and any breakdowns of it in the bid;
- The contract/s awarded to you by Racing QLD to broadcast bush racing, including details of what you are required to do, and how much racing money you are paid to do it.
- The financial accounts of On The Bit Racing Australia Pty Ltd, your outfit to which the RQ money is paid.
None of this is hard, and there is no justifiable reason to share this information so that we can both inform the debate, and back up the claims made by OTBR on their Facebook page today.
I will bet you they don’t do it, and I will double down and bet that the reason why is that there are things in there that they don’t want us to see.
Let me call a cattle prod a cattle prod too.
I don’t trust Matt Peters as far as I can throw him. I’ve never met the bloke face to face, but I have had lengthy phone conversations with him, and my sincere conviction is that he lied to me in every one.
Allow me to give you the latest example.
About a month ago Mr Peters took exception to a story we wrote about the Country Racing Awards holding an awards function at the pub on race day, instead of boosting country racing and the Emerald club by having the function at the track. “It was too hot” – quote, unquote – Matt Peters said when he rang me up to complain about the story. “There’s no air conditioning”.
Being an eighth generation Queenslander, and a child and descendant of the bush, I thought this was the greatest load of sheep’s knackers this side of Boulia, and the biggest pile of bulls dung that I had ever heard in my life.
Peter Moody did too when I rang him straight afterwards to ask him his opinion.
“It’s smells like a squashed blowfly that’s been sitting out in the sun for a week to me Archie” Moods said.
“If I could get to the awards – which I would if we didn’t have COVID – then I would be at the track” he said, before adding
“You can quote me on that”.
Mr Peters bizarre insistence on the pub being a better place to hold the pre-awards function rather than the track got me wondering about certain things, namely things that come in coins and notes, so I asked him straight the question that was playing on my mind.
“Are you on the payroll Matt?” I asked him directly. “Who else is? How much do they get paid”.
“The company does not have any employees”.
Hook me up to a lie detector, ask me to swear on a stack of bibles, torture me if you like.
That is exactly what he said, and I have evidence to prove it.
Sooooo, how does that line up with this things that Mr Peters wrote and published as the God’s truth today?
This is not ideal for OTBRA staff to be put in these situations however.
These expenses include a media director & media assistant and the staff required to do production is not cheap.
This included a media production team and host wages..
Staff, Directors, Wages.
These sound like employees to me, which means that Matt Peters told me porkies.
I don’t feel bad about it though, for I am far from alone.
He is telling porkie pies to you too, or I reckon he is anyway.
I am very happy however for he and OTBR to prove me wrong.
Just publish the three documents, and we can put the whole thing to bed.
I’m going to end with a quotation taken directly from OTBR’s Facebook post today.
… nothing is hidden
Then stop hiding it then.
Show us the money son.
Show us the bloody money.
It’s as simple as getting pissed at a B & S ball.
So stop making excuses and just do it will ya?
The OTBR Facebook post can be read in full at this link below