We are referring to the comments made by the general manager of Nicosia Race Club Mr. Yiorgos Hadjiminas in your newspaper on March 10, 2017, who stated in a rather sarcastic manner that the possibility of the race club closing down is unfounded.
Let us remind Mr Hadjiminas that in a meeting we had with him in the fourth quarter of last year in the present of the Nicosia Race Club committee, he informed us that available cash deposits were so low that the club had only few months to survive and there was a great danger they would be forced to shut down operations.
In addition, last week in a statement made in Jockey magazine, Mr Hadjiminas described last year’s financial results as a success and that the club is on a recovering course since the estimated losses would be much lower than predicted. In fact, the lower losses, Mr Hadjiminas is describing as a success, came at the expense of the horse owners in the form of further purse and benefits cuts and not by the increase of betting income.
In addition further savings were achieved by the decision of the race club to decrease the number of races per meeting from ten to nine. In the last quarter of last year a number of meetings were conducted with a programm that included only eight races. To put matters in perspective, the Nicosia Race Club experienced loses amounted to €291.416 in 2014, €834.023 in 2015 and €1.000.000 in 2016. Looking at these figures is mind boggling how Mr Hadjiminas could describe the existing situation as hopeful and on the right track of returning back to the glory old days. We think that Mr Hadjiminas and the members of the Race Club Committee have completely lost touch with reality and this worries us even more.
That’s why owners, breeders and trainers are pushing for the proposed legislation the interior ministry prepared which is already under discussion and soon will be sent to the parliament and hopefully become a law. This would give more powers to the government and other agencies to exercise stricter check and balances to the Race Club which at the moment are desperately missing.
Unfortunately, if corrective measures are not taken shortly most people involved in racing would abandon the industry as this is becoming more and more a non-viable sector of the economy. The end result will see hundreds of people unemployed and thousands of horses without any purpose or scope and this will be a great tragedy.
Cyprus Racehorse Owners Association