4Racing Transformation Winner | Sporting Post

The Landmark 4Racing Transformation Initiative provides for 26% of the business to be transferred to a Grooms and Employees’ Trust, along with a wide range of historical benefits for grooms.

Horse racing operator 4Racing has embarked on the historic launch of a major transformation initiative to improve the working conditions and welfare of grooms, including improving groom accommodation, the provision of funeral and medical services, and a groundbreaking groom trust that will give grooms and stable hands a significant share of the 4Racing business.

When the Competitions Commission approved the transaction between Phumelela and 4Racing on March 31, 2021, 4Racing made a commitment to help transform not only the organization but the horse racing industry as a whole.

In December 2022, the Competition Commission approved implementation of the 4Racing Transformation Initiative, under which a 26 percent stake in the company will be split between a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Trust (BBOS), the beneficiaries of which will be Grooms and Stable Hands, and an Employee Share Ownership Program (ESOP) set up for 4Racing employees.

4Racing has appointed an independent Trust Administrator to set up and manage the Grooms and Employees’ Trust. A total of 16% of the company’s shares are issued to the Grooms and Stable Hands’ Trust (BBOS) and 10% to 4Racing Employees (ESOP).

Fundi Sithebe – “big moment in SA horse racing”

“Grooms are one of the most important parts of the horse racing industry. They are also traditionally the most marginalized interest groups. This landmark approval of the 4Racing Board’s funding of the Grooms Trust initiative is a tremendous moment in the history of South African horse racing and the holistic livelihood of these very important stakeholders, as well as the creation of the Employees’ Trust,” said Fundi Sithebe, Chief Executive Officer of 4Racing.

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medical and funeral services

An experienced medical services and insurance provider has been selected to offer affordable and accessible funeral coverage and medical insurance to meet the needs of carers and has already begun running a benefits registration campaign for carers and stablehands, beginning at Fairview Racecourse.

Similar registration drives will follow this month at Vaal, Randjesfontein and Turffontein racecourses.

The benefits of the Grooms and Stable Hands have been driven by a collaboration between 4Racing, trainers and owners and the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) who have allocated significant funds to support the Grooms initiatives.

ROA Chief Executive Officer Natalie Turner said partnering with 4Racing on grooms welfare initiatives is absolutely critical.

“We recognize that we must strike a balance between maximizing the commitment to owners and playing a meaningful role in bringing about change and transformation in the industry. In this particular case, improving the welfare of stablehands and grooms is a key and crucial element.

This partnership is a powerful message of change and collaboration within the horse racing industry. We look forward to participating in this initiative, working together to support grooms and transform lives,” said Turner.

Modernization of the groom’s accommodation

The 4Racing Board engaged a real estate solutions company to conduct a thorough assessment and study of the state of groom accommodation at all of 4Racing’s racing and training facilities. The findings were that the Turffontein Grooms’ accommodation was in need of refurbishment and that the accommodations at Randjesfontein and Vaal were well maintained and no immediate action was required there.

The company will refurbish the carers’ existing accommodation in Turffontein and work has already begun on the eight month project, with a number of carers currently moving into temporary accommodation while their living quarters are renovated.

  • Media release from 4Racing from Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

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