Hold on to reins says ex-jockey

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

FOR­MER jockey Bernie “Cups” Ryan is pas­sion­ate about mak­ing a bet­ter in­dus­try for horse train­ers and riders and says the TAB should not be pri­va­tised.

He was the pres­i­dent of the WA Jockey’s As­so­ci­a­tion for more than 30 years and said that in his role he ne­go­ti­ated in­creased wages, im­proved health and safety stan­dards and im­ple­mented work­ers com­pen­sa­tion and su­per­an­nu­a­tion for jock­eys.

Ryan started a jockey ap­pren­tice­ship in 1962 and in 1967 he won the Kal­go­or­lie Cup. A few months later he won the Perth Cup and over his ca­reer he rode about 1000 win­ners.

He said the TAB started as a way to re­place the off-course bet­ting shops so peo­ple in the in­dus­try got some­thing out of it.

“It shouldn’t be sold,” he said. “I don’t know why they want to sell it, they get so much from it for do­ing noth­ing.”

He said what should be done in­stead is a facelift to As­cot and Bel­mont race­courses.

“With the new sta­dium, they could charge park­ing at Bel­mont and make so much more money for the in­dus­try.”

The TAB was formed in 1961 as the Wa­ger­ing and the To­tal­isator Agency Board of WA and in its first an­nual re­port recorded a turnover of $1 mil­lion.

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