Message for RJC Members, Staff, Stakeholders, Sponsors and Industry Participants from RJC CEO Tony Fenlon.
June 23, 2021
You may have heard the news this week that I have tendered my resignation with the Rockhampton Jockey Club as CEO.
I have held that position for five years and have worked with wonderful and loyal staff in all facets of the huge job it is putting on race meetings and functions and the likes at Callaghan Park.
Believe me what goes on behind the scenes to produce a race meeting is rather mind boggling.
I must confess I did not realise the complexities it involved when I took up my appointment all those years ago.
I would also like to make special mention and thank Kelly Suli and Leesa Olive for all their support throughout my time in the role, they have been an enormous help from day one.
In many ways I am leaving the position with a heavy heart as I have endeavoured to put my heart and soul into Rockhampton racing during my term at Callaghan Park.
There are no begrudging reasons for my leaving the position which I informed the RJC Executive Board on May 4.
Quite the opposite really as I just feel like I need a good extended break away from the office so to speak.
I love the horse racing industry and am very much involved with it now especially as my teenage daughter Tahlia has only recently obtained her jockeys race riding licence.
I admit the racing industry is a very intense albeit dynamic organisation whereby in all roles including administrative roles you just don’t switch off at 5pm daily.
That’s the way it has to be and always will be and I loved my role as RJC CEO.
Looking back, I am proud of a number of achievements ushered in at Callaghan Park during my five years.
In brief they have involved obtaining substantial funding grants, sponsorship and media rights deals and massive prize money injections.
Also, I believe if I may say so, I derived tremendous satisfaction in assisting the club to gain essential outside revenue streams from the likes of the Rocky Sunday Markets and quite a few others.
Above everything else I am absolutely delighted to have been at the RJC helm when they took over the running and promotion of the Capricornia Yearling Sales in 2019.
These annual sales are unique in regional Australia and generate massive income streams for Rockhampton, not only its racing but the general economy.
In 2019 I witnessed with satisfaction the magical million dollars in gross sales occur for the first time at the April sale which has been going on for over 30 years.
2020 was a challenge but we overcame adversity inflicted by COVID 19 enforced protocols and conducted Australia’s first Online yearling sales.
It was a success and had it not gone ahead over $400K in prize money for the stand alone CYS races in 2021 would not have gone ahead.
Then this April 2021 provided me and the RJC with what could best be termed the “piece de resistance” when all records at the CYS were shattered.
Just over $1.45 million in sales results and a $20K average came about – record and record.
I have made it known to the RJC chairman Rob Carr that I would be elated if I could be retained to assist in some way with the annual Rocky CYS.
I take it as a mighty compliment that the RJC committee and chairman have asked me to extend by term as CEO at Callaghan Park to after the date of July 16 that I requested to originally terminate.
As well I take pride in knowing I am leaving the RJC on the best of terms and am particularly elated that this financial year the club will announce a substantial profit.
Racing in Rockhampton is thriving with record horses in training and much more but it can always be further improved,
I wish the incoming CEO whoever it may be the best of luck and assurance if required to help in any way I will be only a phone call away,
RJC CEO Tony Fenlon