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To be the key industry stakeholder providing an independent voice for all racehorse owners.

All racehorse owners, who race a horse in Victoria are eligible for a Victorian Owners Gold Card. All Victorian Owners Gold Card holders automatically receive complimentary membership of TROA.

In partnership with all owners TROA will protect their interests, promote increased financial returns and the enjoyment of racing.

TROA’s role is to consult with the principal racing authority, Racing Victoria, in relation to issues pertaining to racehorse owners in Victoria, including prizemoney, wagering fees, Owners and Breeders incentive schemes (Super VOBIS, VOBIS Gold, VOBIS Sires) and any other ownership related matter.

TROA also consults and works with other industry members including but not limited to the Victoria Racing Club, Melbourne Racing Club, Moonee Valley Racing Club, Country Racing Victoria, the Australian Trainer’s Association, the Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria and Victorian Jockey’s Association on a range of issues including owners raceday facilities and entitlements and broader issues that also impact upon trainers, breeders and jockeys as a collective group.

A Brief History Of TROA

The Owners Voice has achieved much for Owners.

The Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners' Association was formed following a meeting of 26 racehorse owners at the Hotel Australia on April 23, 1974.

The inaugural Chairman was Mr Geoffrey Bellmaine and Henry Harrison was Vice Chairman. The first committee members were Dom Dimmatina, Kevin Heffernan, Tom Trevaskis and Monty Millson.

All six founding gentlemen were prominent members of the racing fraternity as owners and from the beginning set out to ensure fellow owners were protected.

34 foundation members also joined the in forming the association. 

In 1987, Henry Harrison, Geoffrey Bellmaine, Kevin Harrison and John Dillon were the first TROA members to be awarded life membership. These gentlemen contributed an enormous amount to racing over a long period of time, and John Dillon continued to serve the industry in his role as former Chairman of the Melbourne Racing Club.



Geoffrey Bellmaine

1974 – 1976

Dom Dimmatina

1976 – 1978

Henry Harrison

1978 – 1984

Gerald Cunningham

1984 – 1987

Nick Columb

1987 – 2001

David Lauritz

2001 – 2005

Martin O’Connor

2005 – 2006

David Moodie

2006 – 2009

Andrew Lafontaine

2009 to 2012

Jonathan Munz

2012 to present

Current Board Members

Association Achievements

A number of issues have been recurring themes over the thirty years of TROA's existence including the obvious issues such as prizemoney levels and owner’s privileges on race days.

Over the year's TROA's tireless efforts and initiatives have improved the playing field for owners. The introduction of the starters' incentive, for example, makes racing horses in Victoria less costly and increases the owner's chances of recouping part of their financial outlay.  The original starter’s incentive model was modified in 2005 to incorporate prizemoney to tenth placing, which prevails to this day.

TROA played a strong and pivotal role during the early 2000’s in lobbying the industry to ensure an equitable return from corporate bookmakers when accessing the racing industry’s intellectual property through race fields.  There was a significant divide in opinions between the ‘gross profit’ and ‘turnover’ models with a bitter struggle waged in Victoria and New South Wales by the respective sides to the debate. Fortunately, the turnover proponents won the day and the industry reaps the significant benefits of that decision with the wagering product fee model generating increased revenue, flowing through to prizemoney increases, with the resultant blended model now the norm.

TROA has played a significant role in lobbying Racing Victoria to continue to committ to increasing prizemoney levels in Victoria, this has resulted in an increase of almost $80 million in prizemoney since 2012.

TROA was responsible for increasing the maximum number of registered owners in the Racebook (with commensurate race day privileges) from 10 to 20 registered owners and for increasing the allowed mounting yard capacity to allow more owners (and their guests) into the mounting yard for their race as well as allocating mounting yard passes on a per horse rather than a per owner basis.  

In addition, TROA directly led the new Owner/Trainer and Joint Owner standard contracts in close consultation with the ATA and Racing Australia, which is particularly important in relation to joint ownership where the previous landscape was unregulated and led to unnecessary disputes. 

The current TROA board, headed by Chairman Jonathan Munz, are a dedicated and diverse group of racehorse owners. Like their predecessors they are committed to ensuring the best possible benefits are afforded to owners.

On behalf of all racehorse owners, TROA provides significant support to the racing community, most notably towards the Australian Trainer’s Trust, National Jockey’s Trust, Living Legends and the Lady in Racing Awards supporting the Victorian Wakeful Club.

TROA has been a driving force in achieving prizemoney increases, developing standardised forms and contracts to protect owners interests, limiting the costs to race a horse, developing important relationships between interstate and overseas owners associations, supporting various racing organisations and clubs with sponsorship and, of course, upgrading of facilities and privileges for members – most notably Connections Lounge at Caulfield Racecourse, facilities on Golden Mile Raceday at Bendigo, the Warrnambool Racing Carnival, Cranbourne Cup Carnival, Geelong Cup and Pakenham Cup race meetings.

If you have any questions, you can contact TROA and individual board members here