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Changes at the top of thoroughbred racing

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UPDATED | A selection committee dominated by racing minister Corey Wingard’s appointees has quietly wrought changes at the top of Thoroughbred Racing SA.

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The TRSA had its AGM yesterday, but what wasn’t announced publicly was the impending appointment of three new members to the board – two from interstate.

InDaily can reveal that former state Liberal leader and now businessman Iain Evans and Gawler racing figure Judith Jones will not be reappointed, while another member, Steve Kelton, has resigned recently.

An industry source told InDaily that a five-member selection committee now dominated by three Government appointees – chair Amanda Vanstone who is a former Liberal senator, Infrastructure SA boss Tony Shepherd and finance industry executive Andrea Slattery – had decided on three new board members.

The impending appointees to the TRSA board are understood to be Cos Cardone, the Adelaide-born CEO of Eddie McGuire’s production company, Brett Dixon, a property developer and chair of the Darwin Turf Club, and Rob Rorrison, a senior adviser at Adelaide financial services company Taylor Collison.

Vanstone and Cardone are both directors of the Port Adelaide Football Club.

The make-up of the selection committee is understood to have been a Government condition of millions of dollars in support provided to the TSRA, Greyhound Racing SA and Harness Racing SA. Last year, the Government provided a $4.85 million package of support, boosting that in this year’s Budget with a $24 million “stimulus package” for the the racing codes.

This morning, the TRSA and the Government both refused to talk about the make-up of the board today, for reasons not explained.

A spokesperson for the TRSA referred InDaily’s queries to the Minister’s office, which did not respond to our questions.

However, this afternoon News Corp’s racing website published quotes from Wingard confirming InDaily’s story.

The News Corp follow-up to InDaily’s exclusive story today.

The Advertiser reported last month that Wingard must endorse board appointments, under conditions imposed after the Budget’s stimulus package.

The seven-member board is chaired by Frances Nelson and also includes David Rasheed, Grant Harrison and Julie Ryan.

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