Member for Bathurst Paul Toole has today announced $4.2 million in funding for the Harness Racing industry, including $2.9 million for a training centre in Bathurst.
Mr Toole said harness racing is a much loved industry in NSW and Bathurst is the home of the sport in this state.
“Bathurst is one of the biggest hubs for harness racing in NSW which is why the NSW Government is supporting the future of the industry in our region by working with Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) to develop this training centre,” Mr Toole said.
“The centre will be an enormous boost for our community, creating around 30 jobs and the construction of permanent stabling for up to 60 horses, as well as a training track and day paddocks.
“This centre will massively enhance the capabilities of the harness racing industry here in Bathurst and will allow the sport to grow and thrive well into the future.”
Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation and Minister responsible for racing Kevin Anderson said the NSW Government will also provide funding for facilities to rehome former harness racing horses, giving them a new lease on life when they have finished racing.
“Here in NSW we love all types of racing and we know harness racing has a very strong following, particularly in the Bathurst region,” Mr Anderson said.
“We are building a safer and stronger regional NSW by supporting the harness racing industry and allowing people to live and work in regional communities like Bathurst.
“We have worked with HRNSW to identify locations in communities like Bathurst where retrained horses will be tasked with new lives including as horses for disabled riders and other special needs groups.
“The Standardbred is intelligent and has a gentle nature which has proven to be the perfect companion for so many and when retrained to be ridden will offer many people in the community a lifetime friend.”
Harness Racing NSW Chairman Ken Brown AM said the program will cover the building of a range of infrastructure.
“With properties strategically situated across the state, the construction of facilities will allow for the retraining of retired pacers and trotters which will boost the contribution of our Rehoming Company,” Mr Brown said.
The training centre will be situated near to the Bathurst Paceway, which conducts around 56 race meetings annually including the Gold Crown Carnival that offers the highest regional prizemoney in Australia.
Construction on the ‘shovel ready’ training centre is envisaged to commence almost immediately.
“On behalf of the participants, my Board and management I extend the sincere appreciation of the harness racing industry to our Minister Kevin Anderson and the NSW Government for the continued support,” Mr Brown said.