2010 Darley Flying Start Trainees’ Conference
Darley’s Tom Seymour ‘hosted’ the Darley Flying Start trainees in a Chat Show style Christmas event on Wednesday, December 7th at Luna Park, Sydney. The trainees were interviewed by Tom in groups of four in a live TV show format about the Australian industry in the event entitled “Thinking Out Loud.”
Each group was asked questions on specific industry areas as well as some general questions on Australian racing. The trainees were graded on their interview performance, communication skills and their ability to support their colleagues and express their individual opinions.
The event began with drinks and canapés while taking in the spectacular views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Moving then to the Sonar venue course manager, Clodagh Kavanagh, introduced Tom Seymour to the audience of invited guests. Among those present were Bruce Slade, Hugh Bowman, Jason Abrahams, Darley Flying Start graduates Craig Rounsefell, Eden Harrington and Jason Walsh, and Darley management. The atmosphere was jovial and the presence of Nick, Adrian and Michael’s parents made the evening very special for everyone.
Nick Hay (Australia), Adrian Bott (Australia), Michael Hardy (Ireland) and Kelsey Riley (Canada) were up first, to cover the topic of international racing. Adrian was asked about his views on the Hong Kong market for Australian horses while Nick discussed the Australian Brand in terms of breeding and racing and the role of Aushorse.
In group two were Brianne Sharp (USA), Matt Prior (UK), James Trotter (South Africa) and Leah Clark (USA). Matt dealt with the issues surrounding the threat of mining to the Hunter Valley, Leah Clark covered the threat of anti-racing campaigners and Brianne was questioned on TV and radio coverage of horseracing.
Barry Lynch (Ireland), Michael Morrison (Australia), Lindsay Schultz (USA) and Kate Benner (USA) made up the final group and their topics related to attracting international customers to Australian racing. Barry Lynch talked about the role of the shuttle stallion, Kate Benner gave her suggestions for attracting foreign owners to Australian Racing while Michael Morrison discussed his opinions on racehorse syndication in Australia.
The audience then had the opportunity to ask their own questions to the groups, which gave rise to plenty of discussion, debate and food for thought for the remainder of the evening. Michael, Adrian and Nick closed proceeding by thanking the audience and the Australian industry for their support.
The trainees departed Sydney the following day for their Christmas break. They will reconvene in Dubai on January 1st to commence the penultimate phase of the programme before their return to Ireland in April 2012.
The Darley Flying Start Conference took place at the Fasig-Tipton pavilion on July 14th. The trainees’ task was to represent industry stakeholders and to offer solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the racing industry today. The stakeholder areas were as follows:
Kate Benner: Sales Companies/Bloodstock Agents/Consignors
Adrian Bott: Racing Commissions/State and Federal Government
Leah Clark: Trainers
Nicholas Hay: Owners
Michael Hardy: Breeders
Barry Lynch: TV and Radio Coverage
Michael Morrison: International Perspective
Matt Prior: Public Perception and Opinion
Kelsey Riley: Racing Media
Lindsay Schultz: Racetrack Operators
Brianne Sharp: Casino/Racino Operators/ADW/Betting Exchanges
James Trotter: Breeders’ Cup/NTRA
MC Kenny Rice introduced the panel of trainees, who highlighted the challenges facing the industry and offered possible solutions which led to plenty of discussion and debate with the audience. In attendance were a wide range of industry participants including Dan Pride and Terence Collier of Fasig Tipton, Keeneland's Nick Nicholson, Geoffrey Russell and Tom Thornbury; Taylor Made Sales' Duncan and Frank Taylor, Pedigree Consultants Byron Rogers; Gainesway's Michael Hernon; Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron; racing historian Edward Bowen; the TDN's Barry Weisbord and a number of Darley Flying Start graduates and Darley management including Jimmy Bell, Charlie Boden and Joe Osborne.
The conference presentation has been broken down into 14 video clips, each approximately ten minutes in duration.
The Annual Darley Flying Start Conference took place the evening of Thursday, October 28th at The Killashee House Hotel, Naas. Over 75 guests attended including stud managers, trainers, veterinary surgeons, bloodstock agents and representatives from the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, the Irish Racehorse Trainers’ Association, the Irish Equine Centre and University College Dublin Vet School. The Conference represented the trainees’ final assignment in Ireland, each trainee being graded on their communication skills during their twelve minute presentations. The theme for the event was “Accentuating the Positive” and the topics provoked plenty of interest and discussion with the audience. Top marks for the entertainment factor must go to Barry Lynch who launched into song with Christy Moore’s “The Ballad of Ruby Walsh” during his presentation on “The Resilience of National Hunt Racing Festivals”.
Click on each of the links below to view the presentation video. Each clip is in streaming Flash FLV format of approximately 12 minutes duration.