Nobody Likes Paying Something for Nothing

Tara Madgwick - Sunday July 28
Late last week we ran an open letter from owner breeder Mary Bray regarding what she sees as a completely unnecessary $55 fee in regards to naming a horse and an avalanche of responses from all over the country suggest she is not alone in her thinking with the exception of one single response suggesting owner breeders should 'suck it up'.

Click here to read the original story.

Below are a selection of the huge number of responses we have received that are overwhelmingly in support of Mary Bray and question the right of Racing Australia to be charging something for what appears to be nothing.

Louise - I am shortly going to be naming 4 2yo's and until seeing Mary's post I hadn't considered this extra fee for nothing being charged by racing Australia.
This fee wasn't around before foal ownership declarations !!!! we have always returned mares in one or multiple names.
I, like many breeders, return my foals in my name only therefore Foal ownership dec is same. Even if there's multiple foal owners chances are as always this is going to change come naming time when we submit an application and fee for this as we have always done.
Racehorse naming down the track is a whole new ballgame and nothing at all to do with who declared ownership of foal at time of breeding.
It is an extra fee for absolutely nothing and disgraceful.

Ted - I wish to record my vote against the $55 charge as it is double dipping, The fee for registration I believe has always been a one sided fee , usually paid by the new Owner/s

Matthew - Read your article about Racing Australia fees and completely agree. The foal ownership has been a pure money grab under the guise of better transparency of a horse's whereabouts from when they're born. To charge us a fee to then declare the racing ownership before we pay for the rego as well is pure theft and revenue raising.

Mary Lee - I totally agree with Mary Bray re this unnecessary fee being enforced by Racing Australia. I have voiced my disapproval via TBA and QTBA - Basil Nolan the chairman of both bodies agrees with me but doesn't seem to think anything can be done.

Apparently it is meant to keep transparency in transfers of ownership which is absolute rubbish.

In Mary's case and also mine occasionally if you have registered the birth of the foal in your name and it hasn't been sold through a sale the ownership hasn't changed and therefore the so called transfer fee is totally uncalled for. I am usually rushing through name registrations and just do it.

In another example a friend and I bought a filly at MM's - we jointly paid for it but still were expected to pay the additional $55 when we registered the named filly 3 months ago in the same names. I argued with Racing Australia re the whys and wherefores but basically to get the name through it had to be paid.

In my opinion there is no valid reason for this charge in the two above cases or if you purchase a yearling through the sale ring - regardless of whether you buy the yearling and race it yourself or with a group the fee still must be paid.

Most people are incensed by this "money grab" - would a petition with the names of thousands of racing participants be a useful tool??

Grant - I was really pleased to see the article on the absurd situation of RA charging a fee to change ownership on retained foals.

Same thing happened to me and I had a long conversation voicing my objection to RA but they simply were dismissive and I was left with no option other than to pay the fee.

I too questioned what precisely they had to do extra to name a foal and record ownership changes that justified the fee. No convincing reply offered.

What really outraged me was that we bred the horse and recorded the owner as Macedon Park Pty Ltd. We then had to retain the horse and we wanted to bring our children in as ZERO % owners. So in fact the ownership was always and still remains as 100% Macedon Park Pty Ltd, we just now have a couple of additional "owners" at 0% so they get race day privileges. I argued, to no avail, that there has in fact been zero change in the legal ownership. I also pointed out that the 0% owners get no prize money distribution so there was no additional work involved from them to justify the fee. They were not interested.

Finally, I pointed out that there is NOTHING on the Foal Ownership declaration to prompt us, or even to provide the provision for us to list our children as owner at that time (had we known we were going to retain the foal to race) in order to avoid a subsequent fee. I pointed out that this was just an additional tax that every owner of a breed to race foal would be stuck with (unless they raced in exclusively only the name of the breeder).

Finally, I pointed out that the foal ownership declaration was put in place as a welfare tracking mechanism. It was never intended to create this additional "tax". At this point I was accused of just trying to make their job difficult.

I hung up incredibly frustrated but with no option other than to pay the fee.

Please continue to publicise this "tax" on our industry being imposed by RA. As I pointed out to them (with no sympathy), it is incredibly hard to make a success in this caper but to be burdened with additional non-value adding charges just rubs salt into wound.

Rob - Same thing happened to me as Mary Bray finds as absurd. Had to be initially registered as the breeder/owner (hobby) of a thoroughbred foal (apparently now for this impractical lifetime tracking of its whereabouts), then later when I tried to register a name, with my wife and self as 50% owners was faced with this bureaucratic nonsense. The old system of registering a racehorse was straightforward and seemingly efficient. To me the old adage of not fixing something "which ain't broken" is relevant here. How many people are involved in policing this new requirement of tracking and ownership?

Jack - I have had the same problem as Mary Bray over the past 18 months. With both 2YO's I have had to pay the double-dipping regarding naming/sharing.
Bureaucracy at its finest. As if we don't pay enough already.

Barb - I am an owner breeder and I totally agree with Mary Bray's comments I breed to race 2 to 4 foals a year for the last 9 or ten years I find the costs to race my horses by myself just too hard so I have to give half of the yearlings shares up to my family and friends as they can't afford to purchase yearlings and we race them between ourselves just like Mary bray does ..last year I had 4 to name and was not impressed that I had to pay out an extra 55.00 on each one for a transfer why if I bred those yearlings do I have to pay a transfer fee of 55.00 on top of the 110 when I'm not going out of the horses that is so wrong it's revenue making is all it is I have another four I'm currently in the process of naming this last week and had to pay another 55.00 for each one it's not fair when you are staying in the horse that you have to pay a transfer fee if you are not going out of the horse.

And if you were wondering about the lone dissenter, who is in support of Racing Australia, here is his response.

Bob - Get over the naming/change of ownership fee....the increases in prize money are so substantial this is chicken feed. Suck it up.

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