NSW government invests in future of harness racing
The NSW Government has announced $4.2 million for the construction of a new harness racing training centre in Bathurst and assistance to rehome former harness racing horses, giving them a new lease on life when they have finished racing.
Minister for Better Regulation and Minister responsible for racing Kevin Anderson said the new training centre will be a massive boost to the industry while creating local jobs, and the rehoming program will help retrain horses retiring from the sport.
“Here in NSW we love all types of racing and we know harness racing has a very strong following, particularly in the Bathurst and Tamworth regions,” Mr Anderson said.
“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 to establish a training centre in Bathurst, complete with training track and permanent stabling.
“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.”
Mr Anderson said the 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 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.
Mr Brown also welcomed the NSW Government’s funding announcement, which will assist HRNSW to complete the Bathurst training centre, supporting more than 30 local jobs.
“The Bathurst Training Centre project involves the construction of permanent stabling for up to 60 horses, as well as a training track and day paddocks,” 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.