ROA President Rachel Hood has responded to comments in the Racing Post about the Horsemen's Group bonus scheme by writing to the newspaper.
Her letter is reproduced below.
Owners are the single biggest contributors to the funding of British racing.
Clearly, nobody can doubt the importance of ensuring that their interests are represented effectively. The Racehorse Owners Association exists to represent those interests and our ability to do so undoubtedly increase if more owners strengthen our voice by choosing to become members. The financial situation associated with racehorse ownership in Britain remains dire, as illustrated by the fact that prize-money has fallen by £16 million in two years and the annual cost recovery for owners is only 21 per cent in Britain, compared with 54 per cent in France.
It is not surprising, therefore, that as some owners turn their backs on the sport, trainers and breeders are struggling or losing their businesses, jockeys their livelihoods and stable staff their jobs. The ROA and its four partners in the Horsemen’s Group (National Association of Stable Staff, National Trainers’ Federation, Professional Jockeys Association and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association) are working to improve the financial returns for their members.
The recently introduced HG bonus scheme was designed to assist achieving that aim by allocating the bonus races to those racecourses that support us and, also by providing horsemen with another reason for joining their representative bodies.
In response to Howard Wright’s assertion (May 4) that the HG bonus scheme is a “display of rampant self-interest”, the ROA does not apologise for our determination to support our 7,000+ members. Indeed, I can assure all members the ROA is totally focused on continuing to promote and protect the interests of all those that we represent.
Rachel Hood, ROA President
8 May 2012