Introduction
Since the TBV AGM held in December 2014, both the organisation and the Victorian thoroughbred industry have continued to grow.

Membership has increased once again over 300 members (262 members this time last year) covering broodmare owners & farms, stallion farm owners and industry affiliates and supporters.

The financial results indicate further growth in both the organisation’s revenue and the bottom line and our relationship with other industry bodies including Racing Victoria is as strong as ever.

In the middle of the year we said goodbye to Ashleigh Mitchell who worked tirelessly to grow TBV. I thank Ashleigh for her work and wish her well in future endeavours.

In July, TBV appointed former senior adviser to the Premier of Victoria and Minister for Racing, Patrick Clancy, as its new Executive Officer. In his previous role, Patrick built a considerable network across race clubs, representative bodies, governments and other key organisations. This has already been highly advantageous to TBV. In the past five months, we have achieved a great deal and intend to do much more in the future to lift the profile of the organisation to the benefit of our members and the broader industry.

Investment in Victoria
2015 has seen a significant rise in investment in Victorian breeding operations. The State’s farms have been strong buyers at this year’s major broodmare sales which bodes well for the future.

In addition, Victoria has experienced an unprecedented level of quality injection into its stallion ranks this year with the arrival of Group 1 winners such as Brazen Beau, Zoustar, Toronado, Warhorse, Hampton Court and The Wow Signal. Notably The Wow Signal and Toronado are owned by Qatar’s Al Shaqab Racing.

We have also welcomed the significant arrival of Spendthrift Farm to Victoria from the United States of America having acquired Yallambee Farm in the Macedon Ranges.

Sales
The three major sales in Victoria all grew in 2015.

• Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale – Session 1 average was up by 15% and Session 2 was up by almost 4%
• Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale average was up by 17%
• Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale average was up by 30%

The Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale sale saw the debut of progeny of Victorian sires including Americain, Glass Harmonium, Jungle Ruler, Lucas Cranach, Mulaazem and Squamosa with promising results achieved.

VOBIS
In 2015-2016, VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS more than $20 million will be made available in prizemoney and bonuses to owners and breeders.

The 2013 foal crop once again attracted more than 2500 nominations. This growth in nominations to Super VOBIS over recent years has occurred in an environment of a declining national foal crop. Once again, the continued expansion of VOBIS Gold and the hard work by Racing Victoria’s VOBIS nominations team had a strong part to play in this growth.

The current racing season is the fourth year for VOBIS Gold. Up to 350 races will carry $20,000 bonuses to VOBIS Gold registered racehorses aged from 2 years old to 5 years old across country and metropolitan racecourses.

Racing Victoria has increased the VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series to a record $2.81 million in prizemoney and bonuses in 2015-16. Two more feature races will be added to the Victorian Owners & Breeders Day which was first held at Caulfield in April 2015. In 2016, six of the nine races held on this raceday will be for VOBIS Gold horses only.

In October TBV joined Racing Victoria to announce the establishment of VOBIS Sires. This is a scheme that will be funded by stallion owners and Racing Victoria. It will principally involve two lucrative races restricted to progeny of nominated Victorian sires:
• a $1 million two-year-old race over 1200 metres to be run for the first time in Autumn 2019
• a $500,000 three-year-old race over 1600 metres to be run for the first time in Autumn 2020

In advance of these lucrative races being staged, there will be 2yo and 3yo races run on Owners and Breeders Day which are restricted to Victorian sired horses. These races will be worth $300,000 and start in the autumn of 2017. We thank Racing Victoria for their commitment to VOBIS Sires.

Victorian Owners & Breeders Day
The inaugural Victorian Owners & Breeders Day was held at Caulfield on Saturday, 18th April with nearly $1 million on offer across four VOBIS Gold races. Next year this will grow to nearly $1.5 million across six races held on April 16th at Caulfield again.

Field sizes and wagering results were strong while a good crowd attended with syndicators given opportunities to market their horses at a special expo. Both Racing Victoria and the Melbourne Racing Club are to be thanked for their commitment to this day. Planning has already begun for next year’s event to ensure it is even bigger and better.

TBV Communications
The main source of information to members is through our weekly e-newsletter. This now goes out to more than 500 members, affiliates, industry leaders and racing media. It contains an eclectic mix of stories about the sale, results and breeding of Victorian thoroughbreds.

TBV has once again grown its profile on social media with a record amount of followers on Facebook and Twitter. In the past five months in particular, the impression TBV has made on Twitter has increased almost tenfold.

Donors and Sponsors
TBV could not operate without the generous support of its donors and sponsors.

At Inglis’ August Thoroughbred sale seven stallion nominations were generously donated to TBV by seven studs. I would like to thank all of the farms and Inglis for their kind support as well as the buyers of the stallion nominations.
• Darley – Helmet
• Eliza Park International – Statue of Liberty
• Rosemont – Toorak Toff
• Spendthrift – Hampton Court
• Swettenham – Puissance de Lune
• Three Bridges – Stryker
• Woodside Park – Written Tycoon

Additionally, we have had ongoing financial support from key sponsors including:
• Gallagher Bassett
• IRT
• Newmarket Grand West Insurance
• Condo’s Horse Transport
• CEPA

This assistance received from the above organisations supports a large part of TBV’s operations and allows TBV to grow its promotion and advancement of the interests of the Victorian thoroughbred and Victorian breeders.

I strongly encourage members to look up these organisations, find out what they can do for you and your business and utilise their expert services.

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia
Adam Sangster, Adam Tims and I represent TBV on the Aushorse and Thoroughbred Breeders Australia boards ensuring the issues that matter in Victorian breeding are raised at a national level.

Key issues focused on over the past twelve months include national horse welfare, integrity and the merger of Aushorse with TBA.

In recent months we have also been working closely with TBA and Professor James Gilkerson over equine infectious diseases issues, how they can be best addressed and how such approaches can be funded. TBV and TBA will be doing more work in this area over coming months to ensure breeders are fully informed about critical equine diseases including equine herpes and strangles. I want to particularly acknowledge TBV Committee member Cathy Hains for her passion and determination with respect to these issues.

Racing Australia has indicated it will bring breeders under the Rules of Racing. Both TBV and TBA are opposed to the change as put forward by Racing Australia. Our main concern is lack of representation on the Racing Australia board and therefore limited ability to have oversight of decisions which could have major impacts on breeders.

TBV breeding award winners for the 2014/2015 racing season:
• Champion Victorian Stallion – Bel Esprit (Eliza Park) for a record eighth consecutive year
• Champion Freshman stallion – Reward for Effort (Chatswood Park)
• Champion Victorian Broodmare – Raining (dam of Srikandi)
• Leading Victorian Breeder – Contract Racing
Group 1 Victorian bred/sired winners over the past 12 months:
• Jameka – VRC Crown Oaks – bred by Gilgai Farm
• Fawkner – Makybe Diva Stakes – by Darley sire Reset
• Flamberge – Goodwood Stakes – bred by Contract Racing
• Srikandi – Stradbroke Handicap & Winter Stakes – bred by a Victorian syndicate

Super VOBIS Awards
• VOBIS Horse of the Year – Fontein Ruby and Rough Justice,
• Super VOBIS Owner and Nominator of the Year Awards – Contract Racing

Conclusion
A special thanks to all committee members for all of the efforts they have made over the past twelve months. The work undertaken by these people is entirely voluntary and undertaken with a great sense of service.

Particular thanks to Anthony Mithen of Rosemont Stud who stepped down from the committee earlier this year. Anthony was replaced by Andy Makiv from Darley.

I want to acknowledge the work undertaken by TBV members, their staff and the broader Victorian thoroughbred breeding industry. Whether it is the breeding season, the sales season or the Spring Racing Carnival, there is rarely a down time in this industry making it sometimes a difficult industry to be in. However, the passion we all hold for horses and the industry is what keeps us going.

Finally, I would like to wish everybody a Happy Christmas, a successful end to the breeding season and a prosperous sales season in 2016.

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