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Trackside Radio

NZ Harness Trainers & Drivers Assn
Published by Pete Cook in News · 16 January 2020
Given the current climate of major emphasis on animal welfare in the racing industry, it is difficult to understand the reason why Radio Trackside would wish to advertise, almost promote, unnecessarily, that excessive whip use is occurring, whether it be reduced or not. Yet week after week, they broadcast an interview with RUI head Mike Godber which, generally speaking is a summary of the misdemeanours committed by jockeys and drivers over the past week, always including those who have gone outside the set guidelines for whip use. Not only that, but on occasions, statements have been made during these interviews that pre-empt changes to the Rules of racing that have yet to be decided upon by the code governing bodies.
The industry has always been told that (Radio) Trackside is a vehicle for promoting turnover - it is hard to believe that talking negatively about animal welfare issues or anything else for that matter, can increase turnover! Common sense would suggest the opposite. This publicity is merely providing ammunition to the people who are intent on shutting racing down.
In fact, why is there a need for a representative of the Racing Integrity Unit, other than stewards prior to a meeting, to be on the radio at all? The only matters that they are involved in, and therefore can comment on, are based around negative aspects of the industry, for example fines, suspensions or disqualifications.
Pete Cook

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