Harness Racing gets a clip on

If you enjoy a night at the trots there is good news for all you harness racing enthusiasts in Broken Hill.

Harness Racing NSW, the governing body for the sport in NSW, has committed to support and keep the sport strong in our city, not least with increased prize money.

Brett Scelly, Racing Manager Harness Racing NSW, and Michael Prentice, the organisation’s Integrity Manager, visited The Hill this week and confirmed there would be more prize money for the region in the pot.

Harness racing, or the trots as it is colloquially known, has a huge following in Australia with over 90 tracks around the country, hosting around 2900 drivers and 4000 trainers.

Many sports took a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, but harness racing has also had to deal with drought and floods affecting the breeding stock of horses.

Usually in any year there are around 5000 horses foaled for the sport.

Mr Scelly said Harness Racing NSW is committed to supporting the Broken Hill racing club and over the next three years there will be a variety ways in which this will be done.

“We are going to increase prize money within the region, from $2500 to $3000 per race.

“Although that doesn’t seem like a lot it is an increase of 20%,” he said.

“This is aimed at encouraging horses and participants from other regions up here to Broken Hill and competing, ensuring that harness racing in Broken Hill is secure and viable well into the future.

“It can be challenging to get horses and owners up here due to the distances, but we are doing our best.

“Today we are involved in a session to get as many people as possible from the community and also young people participating in harness racing moving forward to secure harness racing in Broken Hill.

“Strengthening harness racing in Broken Hill well into the future is a priority for the association.

Mr Scelly and Mr Prentice were keen to emphasise how important fortifying the sport in Broken Hill was when they met with community members at the PCYC on Tuesday.

The sport has a proud history in Broken Hill with the first ‘registered’ race meeting held in back in 1957.

But even before that, there has been a long heritage, dating right back to the late 1800s.

The new season begins on January 7, 2023 at Rocky Baker Memorial Oval Paceway on the corner of Williams and Warnock Streets.

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