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Justin Vermaak taking part in the panel discussion for the Plenary session entitled “The Owner”, having earlier made a presentation at the 2023 Asian Racing Conference in Melbourne (picture via facebook).


Today’s Plenary Session 4, which was from 09H00 until 10H30 in Melbourne this morning (Thursday) dealt with “The Owner”.

It was chaired by South Africa’s NHA CEO Vee Moodley and among the speakers was Cape Racing’s Racing and Bloodstock executive, Justin Vermaak.

There are no videos online available of the presentations and panel discussion, but Cape Racing’s Executive Chairman Greg Bortz commented on facebook, “He (Justin) nailed it today. Was absolutely superb. No surprises there – he is always the line horse! Consistent!” 

The preview of the session stated:

This session will focus on the central role of the owner to the success of racing and breeding, and highlight the critical importance of enhancing the ownership experience.  We will take a deep dive into what is driving ownership across different regions – key trends and factors which influence the decision to become (and continue as) an owner, as well as strategies and new initiatives to broaden ownership bases.  

We will consider how different operators – including trainers, syndicators and sales companies – are working to make horse ownership more accessible and attractive, and how barriers to entry are being removed by innovative approaches such as syndication and micro-ownership. 

The session will commence with a feature interview with champion trainer, Chris Waller.  A diverse range of speakers will then deliver short presentations and participate in a panel discussion on how horse ownership is changing, and what that will mean for the industry in the future.

Vermaak would have had some good material to share following the emphatically successful current Cape Summer Festival Of Racing, in which numerous incentives and stakes boosts, not to mention top quality racing, renovation to facilities and sideshow entertainment, brought smiles to owners’ faces.