The Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) held its first continued professional development (CPD) day on Wednesday, bringing together a range of leading industry professionals from a variety of fields for a series of talks and discussions.
With an excellent turnout containing the vast majority of its 30 Members and 2 Associate Members, the Federation met at Randwick Racecourse following the close of the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
FBAA President Craig Rounsefell opened proceedings with the statement: “The FBAA is continually working hard to raise the standard of our members and ensure we are the leaders in the bloodstock agency field both in Australia and internationally in terms of integrity and best practice.”
The day commenced with an opening address from Gary King, Senior Vice President at Thoroughbred Daily News. An Irish native who lives in the US, King opened his talk with a positive message to the members. “I don’t think you would ever see this in other parts of the world, it is impressive to see you all sitting down in one room working together for the benefit of the industry,” he said.
The discussion then moved onto accounting and taxation with Adam Tims from Stable Financial taking the stage. Adam addressed the different participants in the industry whom FBAA Members represent and the various rules and regulations that apply to each group and how the agents can assist their clients to achieve better financial and business outcomes.
The next speaker was Dr Jonathan Lumsden of Randwick Equine Clinic (REC), head surgeon and partner of the REC Equine Specialists. Lumsden explained the impact that diagnostic imaging has had since the advent of x-rays at sales some three decades ago, and then told the Federation about how the modern imaging techniques of MRI, CT and nuclear scintigraphy have begun to have an impact amongst racehorses, and how their future could help reduce injury rates and ultimately save on the leading cause of lost training days – lameness.
Chris Burke from IRT then addressed the group on the important issues connected with purchasing thoroughbreds and moving them internationally, outlining the checks and balances FBAA Members should ensure are completed to avoid the pitfalls for their clients.
The Federation were then treated to a tour of Randwick’s Course Proper by James Ross, Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering at the Australian Turf Club, who fielded questions on the future of training facilities in Sydney and gave an insight on the development of training surfaces.
Next up was Hamish Esplin of Eslpins Solicitors, who gave members a run-down on legal and integrity matters affecting agents, raising important points that members should be aware of to ensure best practice.
The day then moved into a panel discussion led by veterinarians Dr Chris Lawlor, Dr Greg Nash and trainers John O’Shea and Peter Snowden. Much of the discussion involved the interpretation of x-rays and scopes at yearling sales, but it also stimulated positive debate amongst the members about increased transparency at auctions and the improvement in the product being produced by Australian breeders.
The final element of CPD was a workshop on enhancing the client experience presented by Andrew Morello, Head of Business Development at The Entourage, a leading business coaching organisation, who was joined by MD and owner of Kick Collective and co-owner of TDN AusNZ, Vicky Leonard.
A special thanks is extended to Godolphin Managing Director Vin Cox who was the MC for the day and ensured many healthy discussions and questions took place.
The day concluded with a ceremony at the Randwick Racecourse Remembrance Tree for the late Les Young with an unveiling of a plaque by the ATC and the release of his ashes. A Life Member and an Honorary Life Fellow of the FBAA, Les was instrumental in the establishment of the Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia in 1988.