In light of the scathing departure of Andrew Cohen from writing a regular column in HRU, I would like to introduce you to the Australian Emilio Rosati and his wife Maria are doing what they did twenty years ago; they sold all their stock. This time however it is different. They are selling all their stock and not looking back; a prominent owner leaving the sport for good. In Australia, they are losing an owner of forty years. In his own words:
"It has been a good year when you look at those results but it was the week-in, week-out races that were hurting me," Rosati said. "You watch some horses win heats of big races but then they can't go a yard in the final because they know they are being watched closely."
However, Rosati had become disillusioned watching his horses getting beaten by "things that would jump out of the ground".
"I was going out and paying for the best yearlings in Australia, New Zealand and the US and then someone would bring something with no form from New Zealand and beat me," Rosati said. "That happens in racing but these things were winning four, five, six in a row.
"They were there paying only $12,000 for them, so I went over and asked a few questions and got told the horse couldn't run two minutes over [in New Zealand] and they were coming and running 1:54 at Menangle. That doesn't happen. The bottle was ruling again..."
Sounds familiar doesn't it? That shouldn't be surprising as it seems the route for illegal medication typically starts in Australasia and works its way to these shores. Based on the way some of our horses shed seconds after a claim, one can't help but wonder if the same problems which hit Australasia has reached our shores.
In the case of the United States, we lost a columnist. In Australia, they have lost a major owner. Then we ask why we can't attract new owners to the sport.
The one thing is NSW harness racing is sending out letters telling people they are no longer welcome and people will be gone, a little late but at least being done. Our regulatory rules are a joke and easily delayed by the courts. The whole regulatory process needs to be toughened up and even if there is a slight delay, the state can bring the charges up and there needs to be a national racing board which holds a hearing and issues rulings. This way we don't have those bringing the charges acting as the judge; preserving due process; a common grounds of appeal in the courts.
For further information on the Australian scandal where the police are arresting horsemen, click here.