FOR a good deal of my life I have been a proud follower and supporter of racing on the DARLING DOWNS. Toowoomba might not be the vibrant industry hub it once was but will always be remembered as the nursery of many champions and a pioneer of twilight and night racing.

Over the years politics has made a sad impact on Downs racing and those who run it. The scene today is a sad cry and a far reflection on what it once was. But that’s life and we have to accept it or walk away – which many fine stakeholders have done.

Things happen here that make you shake your head from time to time. One of these occurred in the past week and my friends and I believe the industry is entitled to know the background. I am writing this email anonymously because there are those days that I still like to go to the races and one learns quickly in the current environment that you cannot criticize the present hierarchy and still enjoy your day at the races.

So here goes and I hope you will allow me the space in the WHINGE, which I read regularly, to have my say on an issue that has many of us in Tooowoomba racing quite puzzled.

‘THERE was an article in a Downs newspaper on Thursday that James O’Shea had tendered his shock resignation, effective immediately, in late May from the National Racing Service program which bears the name of his late, great father Pat on community FM radio station 102.7 4DDB.

The article also reported that a number of program sponsors had also inexplicably withdrawn their support at the same time. James O’Shea stated on social media that he ‘couldn’t comment further’ on the issue. The station said, after being thrown into chaos and uncertainty, the matter had been resolved to the benefit of the Darling Downs community.

Surely the racing public, the industry and its stakeholders are entitled to know what caused James to quit so suddenly on a project that would have been so close to his heart.

What made things more mysterious was the comment by 102.7FM’s president, Sara Andrews, that the late Pat O’Shea ‘was never concerned about profiteering or personal financial gain, and that is why he continued this program on 102.7FM, he just wanted to promote the industry he loved to the community he loved.’

The innuendo in that needs cleared up. Does this have something to do with individual financial gain? If so, does that not breach the rules of a community radio station’s license? This station has been under the spotlight of the authorities before.

I am not making any accusations against anyone but there are wild rumours circulating in the industry at present and darts are particularly being thrown at one individual who also needs to clear the air on what is going on.

On behalf of the racing community on the Downs I am calling firstly on the Toowoomba Turf Club committee to make a statement clarifying the situation (there are certainly individuals on that Board close to those involved in racing at the station).

If they want to continue this Star Chamber attitude then perhaps Racing Queensland or even the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission should be asked to look into the seriousness or otherwise of the situation.

This might only be a racing show on a community radio station but stories doing the rounds are losing nothing in the telling. Perhaps James O’Shea might like to shed some more light on what has happened and why he has quit so suddenly – at least for those of us who were such great fans of his late dad’.

Here is the story that was published on the issue:

COMMUNITY radio station 102.7 4DDB-FM has announced that the Pat O’Shea National Racing Service will remain at its original home (102.7FM 4DDB-FM) on Saturday mornings.

Program co-host James O’Shea unexpectedly resigned effective immediately, on Thursday May 25th, and a number of program sponsors also inexplicably withdrew their support in conjunctions with that.

Mr O’Shea then publicly announced via social media that he was no longer presenting the program on 102.7FM but his father’s legacy would continue at some point but at this stage he ‘can’s say anything further’.

In a release to the media, the radio station said the sudden turn of events threw the program into chaos and uncertainty, just a day before it was due to go to air, leaving 4DDB FM with no racing service on Saturday May 27th and its future in jeopardy.

The station said the matter has now been resolved to the benefit of the Toowoomba and Darily Downs community, as Pat would have wanted.

The Pat O’Shea National Racing Service was originally established at 4DDB in 2007, by Pat and his long-time co-host David Silver, after a controversial termination from previous employer Rasdio 4WK.

“Community is what 102.7 is all about and we took on this program when no other media was interested in supporting the racing and breeding community,” 102.7FM’s President, Sara Andrews, said.

“Pat was a huge supporter of the local community and his promotion of racing was second-to-none.

“He was never concerned about profiteering or personal financial gain, and that is why he continued this program on 102.7FM, he just wanted to promote the industry he loved to the community he loved.”

Mrs Andrews said the Station Manager David Silver and the 102.7FM Committee is disappointed that James had made the decision to move on as it was fitting to have Pat’s son involved with the program.

She said there was no reason why his involvement with the new program could not have continued well into the future.

“We wish James all the best with his future endeavours and we are thrilled that we can continue his father’s legacy at 102.7FM, where it rightfully belongs.”

The Pat O’Shea National Racing Service will continue on Saturday mornings with Pat’s long-time friend, co-host and business partner, David Silver and a new co-host who is yet to be named.




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