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gubellini

Paul Belsham

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Popular Wanganui trainer Paul Belsham is winding up his training operation in the next few weeks citing the pitiful Stakes level as one of the major reasons for his decision. Unless something is done about increasing Stakes across the board we will lose more talented horseman like Paul. Damn shame. Best wishes to him and his family.

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Good bloke, good trainer and a lovely family. Sad that a guy that has given his life to the industry has to bow out because of incompetence in our heirachy. Led to believe that the industry board is well behind for this year, meaning no lift in stake money for next season. Where will it all end?

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http://www.theracingwebsite.com/editorials/racing/paul-belsham-bows-out

 

Racing : Paul Belsham bows out

By: Glen Watson - Published: 14 June 16


GLENN WATSON

 

Racing is losing one of its best battlers. Wanganui trainer Paul Belsham, 52, is calling it quits, saying it was now too tough to make a dollar out of racing.

He said he had   considered quitting for sometime now.

Driven to training 24 years ago after weight battles ended his riding career, he said stakes were now down to the levels they were 20 years ago, yet   costs had risen sharply.

Perfect Harmonee is likely to be the last horse he trains on his home course Thursday. He has already handed in his trainer's licence after preparing 215 winners.

He has no  immediate plans to fill the gap, but is keen on doing work that involves the outdoors. Working with horses doesn't  feature in his plans. He's had his fill.

He was reluctant to name the best horse he had trained but had great success with Cox Plate placegetter The Filbert and Red Hawk when in partnership with Don Couchman.

He still has several horses under his care, and will soon discuss their futures with the owners.

On the future of racing, he said centralisation was probably the only way to save it from falling off a cliff.

He had nothing against small clubs but their facilities were in dire need of modernisation. They simply hadn't moved with the times.

As much as he enjoyed the company of other trainers and owners on raceday, Belsham said he won't miss going to the races.   

Rather he was looking forward to the "next chapter in my life".

 

The Belsham bully (courtesy NZTR)

 

1. Who’s the one person you’d invite for dinner: 
George Simon (very funny bloke) 
2. How did you get involved in racing: 
My granddad trained, Bubs Rayner, my dad rode & trained, Noel Belsham, my uncle trains Evan Rayner 
3. If you hadn’t been in racing what would you have done: 
Would like to say pro golfer, but the way I play probably a builder 
4. Greatest dislikes: 
Negative people & jealous people ( life’s too short ) 
5. Event in the world you’d like to attend: 
Hong Kong sevens 
6. Where in the world would you like to visit: 
Ireland 
7. Greatest place you’ve visited: 
Canada 
8. What do you enjoy outside racing: 
Golf & spending time relaxing with my family 
9. Childhood hero: 
Brent Thompson 
10. Best thing about racing: 
The comradeship in the industry & the good friends that I have made while been involved in racing 
11. Favourite horse(s): 
Don’t really have any one favourite in the stable, but have been in awe of Black Caviar 
12. Best race you’ve seen: 
Bonecrusher- Our Waverley Stars Cox Plate, at the time I was working for Don Couchman & we had The Filbert who ran third. 
13. Biggest thrill in racing: 
Every winner is a thrill, seeing an owner excited after winning a race is a thrill. 
14. What changes would you like to see in racing: 
I feel that the industry has become very top heavy, with money getting wasted on unnecessary things. I would just love to see better returns for owners to keep them involved in the industry & bring back free racing for the lower grades. 
15. Most admired person in racing: 
Probably my wife & children for the sacrifices they have to make at times for me to continue something that I enjoy doing 
16. Best advice you’ve been given: 
Treat people how you would like to be treated

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Successful punters make money backing winners. Trainers are no different. They make money and a living training winners. No trainer will or should survive in the game training horses that don't win races. 

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22 minutes ago, goldcape said:

Successful punters make money backing winners. Trainers are no different. They make money and a living training winners. No trainer will or should survive in the game training horses that don't win races. 

6 winners a strike rate of 7 for the season , what are you trying to suggest? 

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3 hours ago, gubellini said:

Popular Wanganui trainer Paul Belsham is winding up his training operation in the next few weeks citing the pitiful Stakes level as one of the major reasons for his decision. Unless something is done about increasing Stakes across the board we will lose more talented horseman like Paul. Damn shame. Best wishes to him and his family.

Raising stake money would be nice but where does the increased money come from? I well remember when a horse Belsham helped train with Don Couchman won the Manawatu cup and the race was worth $100k. But racing was the only game in town, there was no competition There weren't pokies or casino's, lotto or scratchies. Racing was it!

I went to the Wanganui races a couple of weeks back. The facilities haven't been improved upon since I was a regular 30 to 40 years ago. I won't return in a hurry.

Punters are hard done by in this country. Trainers are running virtually private "jump-outs" which don't require reporting, jump trials are run without any public feedback or knowledge of their existence. Form reversals are common place with hardly a review from the stipes. Information is power.

Clean your act up. Become more professional and stop biting the hand that feeds you.

 

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11 minutes ago, Huey said:

6 winners a strike rate of 7 for the season , what are you trying to suggest? 

10% of the stake money won by six winners speaks for itself. No money to be made there.

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goldcape Jumping Trials at Cambridge last Monday. Results posted same day. Rather than relying on 10% of a $7,000 race trainers try to get a nice horse and win a Trial and sell to the Asian Market. 10% of a six figure sale helps them survive.

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5 minutes ago, gubellini said:

goldcape Jumping Trials at Cambridge last Monday. Results posted same day. Rather than relying on 10% of a $7,000 race trainers try to get a nice horse and win a Trial and sell to the Asian Market. 10% of a six figure sale helps them survive.

Cambridge jump trials fields were posted on NZ Racing site and results the following day. Hawera had jumping trials Monday - nothing posted! I don't understand your second sentence relevance.

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6 minutes ago, goldcape said:

10% of the stake money won by six winners speaks for itself. No money to be made there.

Are you serious,he is a good horse person who has devoted his Life to the Industry.The reason he has got a strike rate of 7 means he cannot get owners.

This comes about when you look at costs associated with racing a horse,you lease one as a yearling,then you break it in at a cost around 2k,you give the horse an early education,then turn it out.Then you bring it back and get it to a trial meeting,by which time you have spent another 4k on the associated costs of doing so.Then you are told it needs a bit more time or it has gone shin sore,,so turn it out for 6 months at $15 a day,so another 2.7k spent,then you get the horse to the races and the owners ask if we win what do we get,so explain that you will get 60% of 7k,less the the 10% for the trainer and 5% for the jockey out of the 7k and then you will get a float account and depending where your horse raced and where it is trained,so on average say $400.So when you look at the stirke rate of 29% win a race and drops to around 12% of horse that win 2 races and you must wonder why would you invest in a horse.

Get rid of the over expenditure to run the industry.Put them all on contractI Stewards,Inspectors,RIU,supply your own car,phone,accomadation etc.Pay your own PAYE and your own holiday pay,Acc Levies etc etc.

There are to many sucking the tit with little or no benefit to the Industry.something must change and i will watch John Allen with intrest to see if will deliver on what he promised.but after so may failures,I will hold my breath.

SNR

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3 minutes ago, Midget said:

Are you serious,he is a good horse person who has devoted his Life to the Industry.The reason he has got a strike rate of 7 means he cannot get owners.

This comes about when you look at costs associated with racing a horse,you lease one as a yearling,then you break it in at a cost around 2k,you give the horse an early education,then turn it out.Then you bring it back and get it to a trial meeting,by which time you have spent another 4k on the associated costs of doing so.Then you are told it needs a bit more time or it has gone shin sore,,so turn it out for 6 months at $15 a day,so another 2.7k spent,then you get the horse to the races and the owners ask if we win what do we get,so explain that you will get 60% of 7k,less the the 10% for the trainer and 5% for the jockey out of the 7k and then you will get a float account and depending where your horse raced and where it is trained,so on average say $400.So when you look at the stirke rate of 29% win a race and drops to around 12% of horse that win 2 races and you must wonder why would you invest in a horse.

Get rid of the over expenditure to run the industry.Put them all on contractI Stewards,Inspectors,RIU,supply your own car,phone,accomadation etc.Pay your own PAYE and your own holiday pay,Acc Levies etc etc.

There are to many sucking the tit with little or no benefit to the Industry.something must change and i will watch John Allen with intrest to see if will deliver on what he promised.but after so may failures,I will hold my breath.

SNR

Of course I'm serious. I've had an involvement for 50 years - punter/owner. I have seen them come and go and understand the difficulties involved for all participants.Be careful what you wish for because your solution's are a recipe for corruption and ultimate disaster.

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14 minutes ago, goldcape said:

Of course I'm serious. I've had an involvement for 50 years - punter/owner. I have seen them come and go and understand the difficulties involved for all participants.Be careful what you wish for because your solution's are a recipe for corruption and ultimate disaster.

Can you name the horses you raced in the 50 years and tell me who have you seen come and go?? Paul Belsham is in racing terms a good bloke who has given 40+ years to our Industry and is clearly not a come and go type as you inferred.

I cannot see how my solutions are a recipe for disaster,but please explain what you mean.

I look forward to your informed reply

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12 minutes ago, Midget said:

Can you name the horses you raced in the 50 years and tell me who have you seen come and go?? Paul Belsham is in racing terms a good bloke who has given 40+ years to our Industry and is clearly not a come and go type as you inferred.

I cannot see how my solutions are a recipe for disaster,but please explain what you mean.

I look forward to your informed reply

I could but I won't. Suffice to say I have more experience as a punter than an owner. I have no doubt that Paul is a good bloke, however who said life was supposed to be fair? There are any amount of good people who have devoted themselves to good causes or an industry and have not gained just reward for their endeavors. I bet Paul wouldn't want to trade his 40 year involvement for anything else.

Contractors, especially dependent (as opposed to independent) do not have the same degree of commitment and loyalty to a position they hold in an organisation as an employee of the same organisation would and neither does his/her employer have the same commitment or loyalty to them. That is simply the nature of the relationship. They are more likely to have terms & conditions of service that do not reflect the obligations and responsibilities of the position they hold, and as you are proposing a cost cutting to the current regime, they will devise a means that ensures that their "package" is enhanced to their advantage, i.e. increases in the number of frivolous race day inquiries perhaps or upholding in totality the rules of racing. The positions you refer to requiring "contracting out" should attract applicants and people of the highest moral calibre, honesty and integrity. There is a price to be paid for attracting the 'right" person, especially in an industry that is open to corruption (perceived or otherwise) and reliant upon public confidence.

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10 hours ago, goldcape said:

I could but I won't. Suffice to say I have more experience as a punter than an owner. I have no doubt that Paul is a good bloke, however who said life was supposed to be fair? There are any amount of good people who have devoted themselves to good causes or an industry and have not gained just reward for their endeavors. I bet Paul wouldn't want to trade his 40 year involvement for anything else.

Contractors, especially dependent (as opposed to independent) do not have the same degree of commitment and loyalty to a position they hold in an organisation as an employee of the same organisation would and neither does his/her employer have the same commitment or loyalty to them. That is simply the nature of the relationship. They are more likely to have terms & conditions of service that do not reflect the obligations and responsibilities of the position they hold, and as you are proposing a cost cutting to the current regime, they will devise a means that ensures that their "package" is enhanced to their advantage, i.e. increases in the number of frivolous race day inquiries perhaps or upholding in totality the rules of racing. The positions you refer to requiring "contracting out" should attract applicants and people of the highest moral calibre, honesty and integrity. There is a price to be paid for attracting the 'right" person, especially in an industry that is open to corruption (perceived or otherwise) and reliant upon public confidence.

Highest Moral Calibre and Integrity ? Like Neal you mean.....???

We haven't been too flash at appointing the "right" people so far have we Goldcape.....the Industry is going down the pan thanks largely to the failed strategies ( the word used loosely ) and policies of numerous so called "right people and experts".

And while the top heavy management structures continue to suck us dry while delivering nothing tangible, those that put on the show continue to struggle to make a decent living, with the result that more are getting out or moving off shore...

The price to be paid for progress... ??  Too high for mine..

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7 minutes ago, Ohokaman said:

Highest Moral Calibre and Integrity ? Like Neal you mean.....???

We haven't been too flash at appointing the "right" people so far have we Goldcape.....the Industry is going down the pan thanks largely to the failed strategies ( the word used loosely ) and policies of numerous so called "right people and experts".

And while the top heavy management structures continue to suck us dry while delivering nothing tangible, those that put on the show continue to struggle to make a decent living, with the result that more are getting out or moving off shore...

The price to be paid for progress... ??  Too high for mine..

The appointment process will never be 100% full proof. God knows we have had to suffer eight years of a Tory Government and a Racing Minister who has as much interest in the survival of racing as Donald Trump has in the Hispanic population of the US.

All I'm saying is contracting out of services is not the answer either.

People only have a certain amount of discretionary spend. Thirty years ago the only gambling opportunities were raffles the Golden Kiwi and racing. As we all know, this is no longer the case. There are pokies, casino's, lotto, keno, scratchies, on line betting games and overseas betting outlets. I was amazed when visiting Brisbane recently the amount Queenslanders spend on various forms of gambling. Every bowling club had wall to wall pokey machines, the RSL Clubs had the same plus Keno which was playing a new game every 5 minutes or so. They have 3 or 4 lotto draws each week, two casino's, weekly gallops trotting & greyhound meetings. I came away thinking, crikey no wonder they have better wages than we have here, they need it to support their gambling addiction.

Maybe racing needs to support a minimum of a living wage for all in this country. It's made round to go round. 

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http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/81097315/belsham-decides-to-close-training-operation

 

Deciding to give up a 29-year training career is the hardest thing Whanganui horseman Paul Belsham has done.

Belsham, 52, made the call at the weekend after thinking about it for the past year.

"I was exhausted at the weekend, going to work and coming home buggered.

"I'm not frightened of hard work . . . it's not financially viable for me to stay training."

The 10 horses in work with him will soon be transferred to other trainers or turned out.

"I'll be wound up in three weeks."

Belsham said it was difficult making a living from training fees and the trainer's 10 per cent of stake money.

Long hours for little reward was disheartening, he said. 

Twelve months ago Belsham cut his team from 17 to 10. A trackwork rider helps him with training in the mornings, while a part-time worker does stable work.

"It's seven days a week and starting to get a bit much . . . there's got to be an easier way to live than this."

Selling one or two horses to Asia every year used to be a source of income for Belsham.

"The last couple of years I haven't had anything good enough to sell. 

"We used to buy them as yearlings, win a trial with them and move them on to Asia."

Belsham believed Saturday race meetings should have a minimum stake of $30,000. Most Saturday stakes range from $10,000 to $30,000.

"The stakes aren't much better than 20 years ago. They haven't kept up with costs.

"Better stakes gives you a chance to recoup your costs."

Belsham could be saddling his last runner on race day when he takes Perfect Harmonee to the Whanganui meeting on Thursday.

He and wife Bridget plan to syndicate Belle Cadeau (two wins), whom they own. Bridget is chief executive of the Whanganui Rugby Union.

The first five years of Belsham's training career were spent in partnership with Don Couchman at Hawera. They trained The Filbert to place in both the Cox Plate and Japan Cup. 

On his own account, Belsham's best win was with Ethlen in the Listed $40,000 Manawatu Breeders' Stakes at Awapuni in 2001. He prepared Go Fastar to win the Listed $30,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Stakes at Riccarton in 2005. 

During Belsham's three years of race riding, he won on Raywood Lass in the Group I George Adams Mile at Trentham in 1980. That race is now known as the Thorndon Mile. 

 

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If he been able to retain 'Start Wondering'.  Which I presume he only lost due to the higher stakes on offer in OZ.  I can only imagine what he would've won. He's a top trainer and a top bloke.

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if  the real cost of training a horse was charge to owners most  trainers would have none- my guess  is trainers are also the biggest group of owners in the country having to take shares in horses whether they like  it or not.

 

a young guy starting off has a monumental task of attracting owners never mind buying or renting  a property etc etc. the money being paid at the top of both codes is ridiculous and dare I say the riu - maybe if they were on a performance incentive  connected to a rise in stakemoney I could cop it  but seeing the top guys getting hundreds of thousands of dollars  while the people the industry relies on are to a large extent eating the newspaper off the wall.

 

if I could criticise on thing it is the failure of trainers to unite  and right the wrongs with more drastic action- I am not too sure what it is like in galloping but the harness guys do not present a united  front and demand change. I know my good buddy Chris Wood has tried his arse off but  to no avail.  Mike Pitman is another I think  goes hard . need 100 of those 2.

 

 

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Rogie is usually open to offers and persuasion from whomever might require his services at any particular time.

NZTR lends the Trainers Assn money so it follows the TA is beholden to NZTR.

NZTR holds the purse strings for the TA, literally.

It's a complex relationship that precludes effective input from the TA.

When the current crew took over at the TA there was well over $30,000 missing from the TA bank accounts that NZTR hosts.

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