Stable shortage hits RWITC - By Usman Rangeela I Mirror
Posted on - 29 Apr 2011
Stable shortage hits RWITC
By Usman Rangeela
AROUND 525 unraced juvenile horses purchased by various owners for racing have become the cause of a major headache for the Royal Western India Turf Club. These yet-to-be-inducted horses have been occupying the stables at Pune since February after the conclusion of the RWITC-conducted annual Bloodstock sale. The RWITC is also feeling the pinch after a recent ban on import of horses from Western India was imposed by the turf clubs of Kolkata, Delhi and Mysore.
Consequently, the planned movement of around 1000 thoroughbred horses from Mahalaxmi Race Course to Pune has hit a hurdle as the stabling facilities there are falling short to accommodate the entire population of equines registered with the Royal Western India Turf Club.
All the horses which participate during the Mumbai racing season, except those which are sold or retired, were to be shifted to Pune in a phased manner after the current season comes to an end on May 1.
The RWITC authorities and professionals however realized recently that the horses currently in training outnumber the stables made available by the RWITC at Pune. Faced with this sticky situation, the RWITC managing committee led by Vivek Jain held a meeting with the office bearers of the race-horse owners as also the trainers on Monday last to find a solution.
During the meeting it was decided to hunt for vacant areas near the race course to build temporary stables; hire the stabling facilities available at the Talegaon Stud Farm or the Daryanani Stud Farm which is located close to Wagholi on the Pune-Ahmednagar highway.
Speaking on this issue with the Mumbai Mirror, Vivek Jain said, “Currently the stable deficit is estimated to be around 100 but we are confident that we will somehow manage to house the surplus horses this year.”
Jain also informed about a longterm policy which the turf club intends to pursue. He said, “The more serious issue (stabling) is that of the long term. We feel the overall number of 1570 horses will need to come down by 180-200. Mumbai can house a maximum 1411 and that is the ceiling in any case.
“It was decided to form a core group to look into the feasibility of the land acquisition and to frame norms on how best to fix a quota. The core group will consist of nominees of the owners-trainers association, the managing committee as also the Estate Officer (Pune) and the senior stipe. The committee has nominated Geoffrey Nagpal on this core group.”
Elaborating further Jain said, “My own view is that there will have to be a ceiling on two-yearolds, while protecting the interests of the small owners. Horses which are dumped here will need to be medically cleared and lower rated horses will have to exit. A circular has been sent to all owners-trainers about the restrictions and that purchase of horses will not automatically entitle them to a stable.”
RWITC buying/leasing land in Pune to build about 100 stables.
Imposing age/rating restrictions.
Putting a cap on the number of horses to be owned by an individual.
Ceiling on the number of two year-olds in charge of any individual trainer.
Fresh trainer’s licenses not to be issued temporarily.
Dropping the handicap to weed out the lowest rated horses.