Proven Thoroughbreds has released a statement in the wake of a stewards’ inquiry relating to an advertisement circulated earlier this month.
The inquiry involved two charges leveled at Proven Thoroughbreds.
The first was in relation to “authorising a statement and/or advertisement without the permission of Racing NSW that would likely induce people to acquire a share in a horse,” which Proven Thoroughbreds accepted.
The advertisement titled “A Telling Comparison” was the first advertisement distributed via an external email database in the company’s 16-year history and as a result Proven Thoroughbreds was not aware that permission from Racing NSW was required, especially considering that of the three horses shown as examples in the email, one had already been sold, while the other two were not made available on our website at the time.
Proven Thoroughbreds was fined $1000 ($500 stayed under AR196(4) on the basis that there is no breach within the next 12 months).
The second charge arose from a complaint made by a competitor, in that the advertisement made a misleading comparison between the syndicated price of competing syndicators. Proven Thoroughbreds submitted that the advertisement was not misleading.
It was determined by stewards that a misleading comparison was made because it failed to disclose the inclusions in the syndicated share price of the rival syndications. This is not to be confused with the total figures in the table which were accurate.
The Proven Thoroughbreds business model differentiates itself from rivals by minimizing “extras” and absorbing many fees included in the share price of competitors. What each share price includes varies from syndicator to syndicator.
Proven Thoroughbreds for example, chooses not to pay for agistment, breaking-in and other ‘horse husbandry’ costs in advance as it is sometimes difficult to estimate how much a particular horse will cost in the first few months post-sale. By this method, owners pay the actual amount retrospectively shortly after they have acquired a share.
There was never any intention to be misleading but rather to highlight that Proven Thoroughbreds simply offers a different point of entry into the racehorse ownership market. Indeed, any syndicated horse’s cost summary is readily available to view and compare online as it is the industry requirement.
Stewards ultimately ruled against Proven Thoroughbreds and issued a $1000 fine.
Though disappointed in the stewards’ ruling, Proven Thoroughbreds has decided not to appeal the penalty.