Long term owner and Breeder Henk Leyenaar has been following the issue of the NHA restructuring proposals put forward by SANTA since day one and set out his thoughts in an email sent to Turf Talk:
“As I have read it all since day one it is all about the rules & regulations of the NHRA, which their employees enforce, but as I read said proposals of the SANTA it reminded me of ANIMAL FARM, everyone is equal, but in fact there are those that want to be more equal than others?
“Since being in racing from the 60’s it was drummed into me, that the NHA rules & regulations are to be followed to the letter and they apply to everyone connected in racing, no matter who you are.
“Said rules and regulations ensure that our sport, horse racing, has an Authority called NHA, run by a board of people, who are appointed or elected, as per the NHA rules and regulations. They should be of the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, to ensure that the employees of the NHA, are of the same quality, and have a clear understanding of said rules and regulations so that they can enforce said rules and regulations as duties of the NHA.
“If the NHA surrounds itself with honest people, this allows integrity to permeate the air and then they take responsibility. However, we must all realise everyone can make mistakes, which is true in both personal and professional life.
“These said rules were prepared by our forefathers and some are very archaic in this day and age. i.e. Horse Feed was not ready mixed in those days, this seems to be the high point of it all?
“There is always room for change, but use the rules and regulations of the NHA?
“So, if both bodies show some integrity, it means admitting to these mistakes and not being afraid to say, ‘I’m sorry, I got that wrong.’
“The rules and regulations must guide us to what has to be changed, what is wrong and what is right, but the NHA has to be an independent authority/regulator policing horse racing.
“If no settlement is reached, I hate to consider the consequences of the outcome of the SGM, as it will result in losing control of horse racing – just look at the enquiry into other sports i.e. (cricket and rugby).”