Trainers in Victoria could soon have more freedom to advertise the sale of horses to potential clients, putting them on an even playing field with syndicators.

The Australian Trainers Association has sent correspondence to members this week, highlighting potential for trainers to gain exemption from Racing Victoria, who currently ensure trainers comply with the Corporations Act (2001) and the ASIC horse schemes instrument.

Trainers are currently restricted in their ability to promote the sale of shares in available horses, a move that has caused significant frustration in recent years according to the ATA.

But following advice from solicitor and former ASIC Chairman Tony Hartnell, a guidance note has been provided to trainers which outlines circumstances which they would not be captured by the managed investment scheme provisions of the Act.

“Trainers who are granted an exemption by RVL will be able to openly advertise shares and dollar percentages, something they have not been able to do with the rigid interpretation and application of the legislation by RVL historically in Victoria,” said ATA chief executive Andrew Nicholl.

“Trainers say this has led to a drop off in sales, with prices sight unseen and a need to contact the office or email for this info, potential buyers have been lost – it was simply too much effort.

“It has also driven potential buyers to the syndicator sites where shares and prices have been on full display.

“This will now create a level playing field once again for those trainers who gain the RVL exemption.

“It will also benefit the breeders, as trainers hesitant to buy horses due to the challenges of on-selling them in the past, will be encouraged to re-enter the market with this impediment removed.

“From a trainers viewpoint, all they have ever wanted is a marketplace where they have the ability to buy and sell horses themselves.

“Equally, to use the services of a syndicator should they so choose. So, a choice, plain and simple. In a marketplace they believe is big enough to accommodate both camps.

“The trainers guidance note, produced by Tony Hartnell, an eminently qualified legal professional and one time Chair of ASIC, outlines the trainer and owner relationship model which will support a potential exemption with RVL from their capture and thus, a trainer needing to comply with the current promoters legislation.

“The trainer will be obliged to confirm this to RVL to achieve the said exemption, typically, by written confirmation, referring to the elements of their operating model where shows the owner exhibits genuine decision making.”

Racing Victoria also sent notification to trainers earlier this week, outlining plans to help streamline the syndication of horses in Victoria.

The notification detailed that RV will make changes to promoter registration rules, removing the need for projected profit/loss and cash flow statements and three industry supplier references or bank statements covering a six-month period.

RV has also commenced discussions with other Principal Racing Authorities and ASIC officials to secure ASIC support to exempt racehorse syndicators from the application of The Act by implementing an industry regulation model.

“While this is a time-consuming process (potentially 12+ months and with no guarantee of success), this would provide more flexibility for PRAs to encourage greater horse ownership while continuing to protect the interests of current and future owners,” the notification from RV said.


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