Make Oakbank great again: Trainer Kirsten Mooney wants to move on after landslide election result

Oakbank trainer Kirsten Mooney is urging the pro-jumps campaigners to surrender and accept the racing club’s election results.

After months of legal action and threats, Oakbank trainer Kirsten Mooney wants the pro-jumps agitators to move on and give the club a chance to thrive again after the landslide election results were revealed.

Determined to silence any lingering doubt over the legitimacy of the results from the special general meeting on June 10, where the previous Oakbank Racing Club committee was reinstalled, chair Arabella Branson disclosed the breakdown of votes in an email to members.

Of the club’s 771 members, 67 percent submitted a valid vote with the challenging pro-jumps committee candidates only receiving 33 percent of them.

About 10 per cent of the membership submitted slips that were deemed invalid by the independent auditor – either sent by email, delivered in the wrong envelope or were received after close of the ballot – but if they were included, the margin was even greater – 71 per cent for the existing committee and just 29 per cent for the pro-jumps crew.

“Even if every one of the 181 members who did not cast any vote had voted for the pro-jumps candidates, the current committee would still have been returned by the comfortable majority,” Branson said in the email.

“These pro-jumps advocates asked for a vote, and they got it.”

The outcome should end an acrimonious eight months for all involved, the pro-jumps crew trying to take over the club after claiming the committee did not protest enough when Racing SA made the decision to stop scheduling jumps racing in the state last year.

They wanted to take control of Oakbank and try to force Racing SA to revisit that decision, despite the governing body confirming it is final.

Even with the landslide result, there has been talk from some in the pro-jumps movement of more legal action or convening another special general meeting but Mooney, one of the long-term trainers at the iconic venue, is adamant it is time to move forward.

“It’s just been soul-destroying to see what’s happened to the club,” Mooney said.

“I don’t have a preference for or against jumps – I’ve had jumpers in the past – but I do think that unfortunately it has run its race and is over in South Australia.

“I just hope that Oakbank and the committee can be given the time and ability to channel the funds that they’ve got left into making Oakbank great again.

“All their time has been spent trying to fight this battle of egos, that in my opinion, has been absolutely ridiculous.

“The election was a landslide – the members have spoken. It put an end to any doubt whatsoever.

“I can’t see how calling another special general meeting will change that at all.”

Mooney, who saddles up stable favorite Love Magic at Morphettville on Saturday, believes it’s time for those holding the club back to disappear, allow the community to heal and focus on the positives going forward.

“Nothing thrives on negativity, I’m a big believer in that in my own training,” she said.

“If there are people around who are negative, they can go because horses don’t thrive and clubs don’t thrive.

“It would be great to see Oakbank be able to get back on their feet without Covid and without the nastiness, the negativity that has hounded them recently.

“We just want the excitement of Oakbank back.”

Originally published as Make Oakbank great again: Trainer Kirsten Mooney wants to move on after landslide election result

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