Owners survey findings
Recently the HRNZ Owners Sub Committee ran a follow up survey identical to the survey first circulated in 2017.
The Sub Committee was formed in 2017 to support owners in the industry and also generate new ideas and initiatives to look after current owners and also attract new owners to the sport.
Over the past 12 months it has put forward minimum standards around Club recognition of owners, encouraged increased communication with owners, and also held owners events around New Zealand and supported clubs who have taken it upon themselves to look after owners and held owner events.
More ownership stories were published on the HRNZ website covering various ownership journeys, highlighting the emotions of being involved in ownership. Mainstream media coverage around ownership was also a priority, with stories featuring regularly on shows like Seven Sharp with the likes of Jeremy Wells, Sarah Palin and Buy Kiwi Made covering ownership elements.
Early on the group also implemented the Stable Shout, rewarding trainers who have shown a great level of communication with their owners. Giving examples of how trainers have been giving exceptional customer service to their owners.
The Anthony MacDonald free seminars nationwide were also supported to promote affordable ownership, communication and promotion. And giving industry members tools to increase their owner base and services.
The Sub Committee is dedicated to working with and supporting clubs and licence holders in increasing ownership interest, and also encouraging more owners to attend race meetings to assist with race day turn out.
Survey participants indicated that there was an increase in terms of being recognized as an owner by clubs, regardless of winning a race or not, and the amount of owners being recognized after winning a race also increased.
The most recent survey showed a positive response in terms of how trainers communicate with their owners.
The owners that took part in the survey were generally happy with the way in which their trainer was now keeping them informed on their horses.
Whilst updates via phone, text and email were still the most common means of communication, there was a positive upturn in the amount of trainers now using Facebook, You Tube and also newsletters.
60 percent of owners wished to hear from their trainer once a week when their horse was racing, which remained on a par with the previous survey result.
In choosing a trainer, the personal relationship was still the highest factor for 56 percent of respondents.
Which meant that the owner had previously met or had contact with the trainer, thus leading to them becoming involved with that stable.
It yet again highlighted the importance of marketing and networking with potential owners, and fostering relationships from new opportunities.
23 percent said the syndicate manager was the person making a decision about the trainer, which was an interesting reflection of the amount of owners who had now joined more than one syndicate.
The survey showed an increase the amount of people now in more than one syndicate.
0 syndicates 51.8 47.9
1 syndicate 27.7 23.1
2 syndicates 10.3 16.3
3 syndicates 5.17 6.08
4 or more 4.85 6.57
Whilst there is always room to grow and improve, the results show that the clubs and trainers who are doing good work with their owners are making a positive impact.
Following the Sub Committee’s presentation at annual conference to clubs and delegates we have also seen a huge buy in from clubs wanting to promote ownership and harness racing participation. This has been by way of dual sulky competitions and phantom ownership events.
We thank those who are leading the way with this and encourage others (clubs and licence holders alike) to contact Jess Smith at HRNZ should they wish to find out more about how we can assist them:
HRNZ Communication and Ownership Co-Ordinator