Dubbo Turf Club President Chris Davis has been appointed to the Racing NSW Country Board as the Central Districts Racing Association (CDRA) representative, replacing the outgoing Max Walker.
Mr Davis, who has spent his recent years helping Dubbo Turf Club to their current lofty standing as one of the premier country training and racing tracks in NSW, told NSW Country and Picnic Racing late last year that his recent appointment to Racing NSW Country Board was all about finding his feet.
“I will suck it all in and see what’s happening and just get my feet on the ground,” Mr Davis.
“At my first meeting, I sat there and opened my mouth four times, and I’m all a bit new to it.
“There are some interesting facts when you are on that board about wagering and horse numbers and we meet every two months.
“We get together for a day, go over wagering and horse statistics and we make decisions with funding, mainly to do with tracks and safety.”
Mr Davis is well entrenched in the racing industry and is one of the committee members responsible for rejuvenating racing in Dubbo and surrounds.
“Back in the early 2000s, I was Secretary Manager at Dubbo for six years, then went off and did some other things of my own, which had nothing to do with racing, and I came back to the club nearly eight years ago,” Davis said.
“At that time, we basically put a new board together and have gone from there.
“We have a great board, with a lot of people with racing history and everyone is there to grow racing, not just for Dubbo, but for the Central and Western region, and that impact has been seen with our resurgence in trained starters, which is about 1700 to 1800 starters per year, and the club’s subsequent success.”
Dubbo Turf Club has since become a hot spot for country trainers, with the likes of Clint Lundholm, Brett Robb, Connie Greig and the Lunn family all tasting success across the region and state.
“We wanted to make sure our training facilities and stabling were up to scratch and that has enticed people to want to come and train in Dubbo,” Davis said.
“It’s the ideal place, ideal climate, it’s very central in NSW and easy enough to go to Sydney, Moree, Tamworth, Wagga and most places if you want to travel.”
Davis admitted that Dubbo Turf Club was still trying to work in closely with the community, which is his committee’s biggest challenge at the moment.
“We had to re-engage the Dubbo community, and it is a work in process,” Davis said.
“We needed to fix a few things and establish some trust, and we are now seeing the community get behind our race days.”
As far as joining the Racing NSW Country board, Davis explained it was a matter of taking advantage of an opportunity when the chance arose.
“I had an inkling that Max (Walker) may not have been going around again and I said to Brian (Charman) one day, if Max doesn’t put his hand up, I would be interested,” Davis said.
“Then I got a phone call that Max was officially not standing again and they said, if I felt the same way, I should put my application in.
“I’m now the representative for the CDRA and I have to be careful and mindful that I’m representing a region and not just the Dubbo club.”
Davis stressed that his allegiances to Dubbo wouldn’t impact his role with the Racing NSW Country board either, and he looked forward to helping the Central Districts and NSW country racing as a whole.
“I’m a born and bred Bourke boy and my grandfathers and uncles were chairman’s of clubs out there and it’s in my blood,” Davis said.
“I know I am from Dubbo, and I know the club somewhat underlies the success of the region, but I will be looking to help all clubs and racing in general.”
Davis isn’t the only new appointment to the Racing NSW Country board, with Kevin Cross stepping up as the Southern Districts Racing Association representative in place of the outgoing, Michael Inglis.
Bob Pavitt remains the Northern Rivers Racing Association representative and Chairman, and Brian Charman is the CEO.
Racing NSW Country board
Brian Charman – CEO
Bob Pavitt – Northern Rivers Racing Association and Chairman
Rod Watt – Hunter North West Racing Association
Greg Delaforce – Mid North Coast Racing Association
Michael Kennedy – Western Racing Association
Michael Martin – South East Racing Association
Kevin Cross – Southern Districts Racing Association
Chris Davis – Central Districts Racing Association