The fact that the proposal to change the standardbred horse’s birthday from 1 August to 1 January went through the Special General Meeting without dissent, and without even any questions being asked, was a credit to the way the idea has been promoted and ‘marketed’ by the staff at HRNZ.
When it was first mooted more than six months ago, I wasn’t the only one who had a bit of trouble getting their head around the logistics of the change, however much consultation and information made sure the decision on the transition was made without a hitch. Mind you, when you weigh up all the advantages, it was what is commonly called a ‘no-brainer’.
Now all the work and planning that has been already going on behind the scenes can progress at speed, with the knowledge that the proposal is now a fact. If you look at the photo attached, you will see a white board which extends the length of the wall on the left, which has been sectioned into months of next year. On it are a myriad of suggestions, ideas and options which are being worked through by a ‘stable’ of experts. At the meeting we were told not to take any of the writings and musings as being set in concrete – mind you, it’s unlikely anyone could memorise it all anyway.
With the new timing of the calendar, it is the perfect opportunity to start with a clean slate, and the only guideline that was given to the brains trust was that everything was up for grabs except New Zealand Cup day. Once a final draft is achieved, there will be consultation with Clubs and trainers for further input and opinions. Potentially exciting times ahead.