THE NSW Government has pledged more than $4 million to the harness racing industry for a new training centre at Bathurst and to establish facilities for the retraining of retired pacers.
Minister for Better Regulation and Minister responsible for racing Kevin Anderson said the new training centre will create local jobs and be a massive boost to the industry, and the rehoming program will help retrain horses retiring from the sport.
“The NSW Government is committed to seeing the harness racing industry grow and thrive here in NSW which is why we are working with Harness Racing NSW on these very important initiatives,” 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.”
The funding package of $4.2 million has been allocated for infrastructure projects which consists of:
• $2.9 million for the construction of a new harness racing training centre in Bathurst
• $1.3 million in assistance to rehome retired standardbreds (pacers and trotters) across regional NSW
The training centre will be built within a precinct adjacent to the Bathurst Paceway, the home of regional Australia’s richest race purse – the Gold Crown Carnival and more than 50 race meetings a year.
Construction on the Bathurst training centre is envisaged to commence almost immediately.
“This (training) 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,’’ Local member Paul Toole MP said.
The project will provide for stabling of up to 60 horses and create around 30 jobs in the Bathurst region.
Mr Anderson said funding will also go towards a rehoming program to ensure horses get a new lease on life once their careers on the track come to an end.
“We have worked with HRNSW to identify locations in Tamworth, Bathurst, the Hunter Valley, Goulburn and Wagga Wagga where retrained horses will be tasked with new lives including as horses for disabled riders and other special needs groups,” Mr Anderson said.
“The standardbred horse is intelligent and has a gentle nature which has proven to be the perfect companion for 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 development 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.
Originally published asFunding boost for NSW harness racing
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