The yearlings above were sold at the APG Brisbane sales earlier this year.
They shouldn’t have been.
Trevor O’Reilly is a Director of Australian Pacing Gold Ltd.
Traxion Management Services is the family company of Dean Baring, who is an employee of the APG.
No disclosures were made in the catalogue about these gross conflicts of interest, so unless a buyer was in the know, they couldn’t know.
Pinaroo Park is a company owned by David Boydell, the former Chairman and now CEO of Australian Pacing Gold.
His conflict of interest wasn’t disclosed to buyers either.
Daniel Cordina is a Director of the NSW Harness Racing Club, more commonly known by its trading name Club Menangle.
Alex Smith is too.
John Dumesny is of course the Chairman of Harness Racing NSW, the body that receives tens of millions of dollars a year in Government funding.
His chairman Ken Brown – who is also the Acting Chairman of Harness Racing Australia (HRA) – is a breeder, as was his predecessor Rod Smith.
HRNSW Directors Peter Buckman and Peter Nugent are breeders. Recently departed Director Melissa Di Marco was too.
Michael Taranto, the former chair of HRA who recently exited stage left after his company Seelite went broke and he simultaneously fell out with the CEO Andrew Kelly, is a breeder too.
Yirribee Pacing Stud has commercial contracts in place with Club Menangle to stand the semi-fertile stallion Lazarus at its property.
Contracts that were never put to open tender.
There are many more conflicts of interest across the three companies Club Menangle, Harness Racing NSW and Australian Pacing Gold.
In fact there are more conflicts than you can poke a stick at, and when you stir them all together what you get is a thick brown sludge that looks like a witches brew, with black smoke bubbling up and staining all the mirrors.
How have all these people been allowed to get away with this for so long?
How are the Directors of these companies allowed to sit in board meetings and make decisions the allocation of millions of dollars of money that isn’t theirs, when they so clearly have personal interests in how this money is spent and where it goes?
None of these people – not one – owns the company they direct, or its assets, or the millions of dollars of cold hard cash that it dishes out every year to the breeding industry.
Yet no-one says a word, or challenges them about their ability to impartially make decisions that affect the private interests of each and every one of them in one way or another.
It’s an absolute scandal.
Put it in the context of Nutrien entering the sales market and trying to secure a NSW race track to run its $400 000 race series on.
The Directors of Club Menangle control racing on the Menangle track.
At least half of them buy and/or sell horses at the APG sales, and therefore have a direct personal interest in the success of the sales.
Their company owns a third of the APG. It has a direct and compelling interest in the success of the APG sales.
Robert Marshall is the Chairman of both Club Menangle and the APG.
How can decisions about accommodating the Nutrien Sale be made objectively and impartially in these circumstances?
It’s a stupid question.
Harness Racing NSW controls all of the money flowing into harness racing from wagering revenue and government funding. It can man make or break a harness racing club via the way it manages and distributes this money.
It’s Chairman, CEO and half of its Directors are breeders who sell at the APG Sale.
How can they be objective?
What club is going to agree to host the Nutrien race series if it fears its funding might be slashed as a penalty for its insolence?
The top three executives at APG buy and/or sell horses through its sale. T
The Chairman of the Board and many of his Directors do too.
How can they sit in board meetings and make decisions about matters they are personally interested in?
They can’t either.
The management of Harness Racing in New South Wales is warped and bent. It’s a basket case, a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
Nutrien’s entry into the sales market has created problems for each of the three.
The trio’s response has created problems for us all.
Now they are out in the open in wide and clear view.
There’s only one question left.
What’s the NSW Government going to do?