National Jockeys Trust Annual Report 2019
It has been a busy time for the Trustees since the last report on the activities of the National Jockey’s Trust. Our sponsorship with the superannuation fund, LUCRF, came to an end in mid-2019 and the Trust found itself seeking a new sponsor, for the naming rights on jockey’s breeches, in very different and cautious economic times. Many prospective sponsors had already made their sponsorship decisions for 2020 and beyond by the time the Trust came to the market. The Trust has engaged two professional and highly regarded consultants to search the market, and although we have come close to securing a new sponsor, unfortunately we have fallen agonisingly short. Work continues on this vital project, and at the time of this report, sponsorship is being pursued with some large and respected businesses.
On the plus side, the Trust has been the beneficiary of a large donation from the Cobcroft Foundation, and as mentioned elsewhere in this report, received over $400,000 from being the charity allocated to Kolding, the winner of the Golden Eagle at Randwick. Significantly, the Trust has received increasing numbers of bequests from deceased estates as well as personal donations from members of the community. In addition, the important charity events held throughout the country remain a significant source of income for the Trust and provide a wonderful point of connection with the racing community and those who simply admire and appreciate the talents of our jockeys and the inherently dangerous circumstances in which they earn their living. The Trust offers its deep appreciation to those who have made donations or have organised or attended these charity events.
The importance of the work of the Trust is underlined by reference to a few statistics. Approximately 200 riders are injured each year on Australian racetracks and there are nearly 300 falls annually with 89% of jockeys involved requiring medical assistance. It has been estimated that in the next 10 years there will be 10 to 12 jockey deaths and 50 jockeys will suffer career ending injuries, including paraplegia, quadriplegia and severe brain injury. In this context, it will be noticed from the details of the financial report that in the 2018-2019 year, the Trust paid out more than $700,000 to eligible jockeys, retired jockeys and their families who have found themselves in necessitous circumstances. It is clear that for the future the Trust will need to find additional sources of income and establish an ongoing financial stream in order to meet the anticipated increase in calls for assistance by jockeys and their families. This clear need for additional sources of income arises in circumstances where the Trust receives no government or established regular funding from the industry. Achieving a regular and adequate income stream will be a priority for the Trust in the coming year and for the foreseeable future.
It is appropriate to conclude this report with an outline of the integrity measures adopted by the Trust in assessing claims for assistance. As a registered charity, donations to the Trust are tax deductible: that tax status is vital for the continued existence of the Trust and the work it performs in the interest of jockeys. With that status comes responsibility and statutory regulation. The statutory regime requires that financial support may only be provided by the Trust where the applicant does not have sufficient financial resources to enjoy a modest standard of living. While it is not necessary that the proposed recipient be destitute in order to receive financial assistance, we are talking about a jockey and his family being in grave financial need and requiring assistance. In order to comply with that statutory scheme and the terms of the Trust Deed, the Trustees are required to investigate the financial resources and needs of applicants. A claim needs to be supported by verified financial records and receive endorsement from the Executive of a State or Territory Jockeys Association. Ultimately, the Trust must be satisfied that the claim is genuine and deserving of support. The integrity of this system is vital to the continued existence of the Trust.
The Hon. Wayne Haylen QC