Charmein Bukovec, TBV Executive Officer (Left) (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)
I write to you tonight to provide you an update in relation to COVID-19 and the Victorian-breeding industry.

TBV are working with Inglis in relation to the Gold sale to represent the Victorian Breeders position. Kayley Johnson, Jenny Moodie and I spoke with as many vendors as we could to understand what your positions are and what you believe would represent the best outcome for your farm. TBV President- James O’Brien, then put forward the collective response to Inglis. The response was that vendors felt that the sale should be postponed given the current climate.

After our conversations with Inglis, it has been confirmed that the Gold sale and will be run in conjunction with the Great Southern sale, which will run from the 12-15 July. This will be reviewed on April 30, to ensure it reflects any conditions we may face at that time. However, Inglis have been clear, that regardless of what does happen the sale won’t be moving to earlier than this date. Inglis tonight have also released a revised 2020 schedule, which you can find here.

Additionally, you have raised concerns that in the event of racing being suspended, how the breeding industry will be supported, and the welfare of horses be maintained in the current climate.

In this regard, yesterday we met with the Minister of Racing’s office to talk through those challenges we face. We are currently preparing a paper which will be submitted to the Government to address these challenges, to ensure the welfare of the horses comes first and making sure that breeders also don’t end up in a tougher position.

Today, I met with Racing Victoria, the Minister’s office and other industry stakeholders to talk about the situation as it currently stands. Post this meeting, the TBV Board met to discuss issues that have arisen due to COVID-19. We will continue to have meetings regularly as a team to address the current situation.

We have only just learned tonight at 9:45pm, that Mark Zahra’s COVID test has shown he is negative to COVID-19. This is a great result for both the racing and breeding industry.

Finally, have you checked on your friends, or your neighbours today? A phone call or text can go a long way, I personally am trying to flick a text to people to see how they are going.

Sometimes, people need a little more support, which in this case Racing Victoria have extended their Stableline program to those people employed in the Victorian breeding industry. It is an independent counselling service which anyone can call 24/7 on 1300 520 122.

We will get through this if we support each other and build one another up.

And as always, you can call me direct on 0459 510 506 or email me at, should you wish to share ideas or concerns.

Kind Regards,




Charmein Bukovec