NSW Trainers Association Ltd
98 King Street
Canterbury NSW 2193
Tel: 0452 078 779
August 15 2018
Drought and daily training fees: recommended price rise
Thoroughbred trainers are experiencing unprecedented rises in feed costs due to the impact of the drought across all parts of NSW.
The price of key feed such as lucerne hay has risen by at least 80 per cent so far in 2017, from around $11.00 a bale to $20-$26 a bale.
As widely reported in the media, the prices for other key feed in the diet of horses such as oats, barley, corn and lupins have risen from about $120.00 a tonne to between $500 to $580 a tonne, an increase of at least 300 per cent.
Commercially manufactured feed mixes in recent weeks have risen $2.00 to $3.00 per 20kg bags, and further increases have been flagged by feed manufacturers due to tightening supply and reliance on inter-state crops.
There are some regional variations on price rises. The costs to smaller trainers in Country areas who rely on co-op or rural supply stores and buy in smaller quantities are experiencing more difficulties.
The impact is also being felt on the prices being charged for spelling and agistment. Those trainers who do spell horses for Owners are now feeding hay daily as pastures are bare due to the drought.
Due to these unforeseen circumstances, the NSW Trainers Association strongly recommends that all trainers lift daily training fee rates from September 1.
It is recommended that daily training fees be lifted by a minimum of $5.00 to $10.00 a day based on current August feed price rises.
Some trainers may decide that an increase is noted on Owner Bills as a separate line and called a “Drought Levy” which can be reviewed when and if key feed prices return to the levels of early 2017
It is appreciated that trainers are reluctant to increase daily training rates to their Owners.
However, with NSW now declared by the State Government as 100 per cent drought affected, it is likely that feed prices will continue to rise over the next six months.
The normal NSW winter crops for key feeds such as barley and oats are in jeopardy. And into 2019, such feed staples are unlikely to see any significant price decreases even if there is significant rain in the next few months.
Please refer Owners to a copy of this letter, which will be available in the Trainers Lounge at homeofracing.com.au, or suggest they contact the NSWTA if there are any queries on feed prices or training fee increases.
Please note that Owners recently benefitted from the recent prize money rises for Metropolitan, Provincial and Country TAB meetings.
If any trainers are finding Country Owners directly affected by the drought are unable to pay their bills in a timely manner, please contact the NSWTA for advice.
The current situation for owners, trainers and their staff, and other industry participants is extremely difficult, facing an event that is the most significant since Equine Influenza in 2007.
The NSWTA has requested Racing NSW look at additional options apart from the much appreciated $1 million hardship fund set up last week to assist those industry participants facing serious financial stress.
The NSWTA has suggested options to inject funds directly into the racing economy that will benefit both owners and trainers, particularly prize money adjustments for non-TAB and Picnic meetings where so many horses race in the worst affected areas of NSW.
On behalf of the NSWTA board.