Rachel Venniker. (Candiese Lenferna),

Rachel would choose level fields over absurd advantage

IRC founder JOAO DA MATA, still perplexed about the NHA’s female apprentice ruling, correctly points ot that South Africa’s champion apprentice and her agent are set for an easy ride to the top. 

He writes:

So, the South African National Horseracing Authority (NHA) reportedly seeks transformation and inclusion, hence their bizarre decision to hand permanent 1,5kg allowances to all female jockeys forthwith.

I feel an explanation is in order why more ladies are not being encouraged into working in stables as grooms and ultimately as work riders. Surely time spent on a programme like that would have a far greater impact on producing actual race riders? 

The International Racing Club’s UK trainer, Tony Carroll, employs over 70% female work riders. When asked how that came about, Tony replied, “They are just kinder on the horses”.

One wonders how the minds of the powers that be see things. They should be aware that even though they sit on their thrones concocting absurd rules like these, we, the peasants down below, are no longer misinformed and out of touch. Surely The NHA goes through its colour application database and finds all sorts of people from all walks of life, covering society as a whole? Or don’t they? Is this not perhaps a typical ‘soft target’, issue, used to justify their existence and the exorbitant salaries of their executives?

With that in mind, if the goal is to get more ladies into racing, well, then wouldn’t it have been right to put a think tank together, to create a task force to investigate and propose the best possible ways of making it happen? 

I’ll now move onto the Rachel Venniker issue (I’m so sorry Rachel as you are a victim of the NHA’s madness). 

With this new rule, the NHA have handed SA’s Champion Apprentice and her agent a lifelong advantage of earnings. As a trainer, or owner, you have to be a fool (if you understand handicapping) to not book this very good (and soon, permanently claiming) jockey for your horse. Lo and behold, Rachel could enjoy a full book of rides at every race meeting going forward. Will this not be a deterring factor to a number of young males looking to become jockeys?

Already we have way too many jockeys fighting for way too few rides and now, with this stupid rule, it will soon become even tougher for them to earn a living.

The IRC prides itself in bringing new people to SA racing, we have done so for free and without any input from any person in authority. How much longer we can continue to support SA racing is a concern. You see, when I board a plane with UK based clients and they ask me about Rachel and her lifelong claim… I don’t have the logical words to answer them!  – IRC.