HRNSW makes significant progress despite the adversity of the pandemic – Harnesslink
Of particular note are the significant price increases “at all levels” and the persistence in providing “a level playing field” for participants.
Financial incentives and key policy initiatives are outlined in a recently published overview of the past 12 months for harness racing in New South Wales.
During the last months of 2020, HRNSW adopted initiatives in the area of drug testing while towards the end of the fiscal year the use of the detention center was expanded.
It was in January when the base price for Class “A” meetings – which represents two-thirds of NSW’s racing program – was increased 10 percent to $ 8,000.
Just a month later, the importance of the Miracle Mile as an ambitious race and marketing tool for harness racing was underscored by a commitment to make its million dollar purse the only race in the southern hemisphere to win this award level.
Then, in April, HRNSW raised the bar again by announcing a further increase of seven percent for category “A” (to $ 8,568) and nine percent for category “B” (to $ 6,528). as of July 1, 2021. This is the highest basic price levels in Australia and a 15% increase in a period of stable CPI.
In other pricing announcements over the impacted COVID-19 over the past 12 months, HRNSW described it:
- WAS the first state to restore base price in July 2020 – after being the last to reluctantly cut it – when COVID-19 hit in March 2020.
- INJECTION of an additional $ 625,000 in prize money in September 2020 by adding 12 additional race meetings to the schedule to ensure a minimum of two race meetings in each region each week.
“This period has been particularly trying for all stakeholders. We have all faced probably the greatest challenges we have ever faced, similar to the equine influenza epidemic of 2007, but for a very long time, ”said HRNSW Managing Director John Dumesny.
“But being able to keep our doors open, keep running and ensuring that the livelihoods of our industry participants have not been compromised is something that HRNSW’s board and management are especially proud of. “
“Amplifying this through growth and improved opportunities for our participants, despite the dangers of COVID which has been so destructive to so many people, is a significant achievement for all of our participants. “
“Most Australians know that running has helped provide that element of normalcy during a time of disruption, shutdown and lockdown in our daily lives, so while there is a sense of pride in being able to facilitate that,” We are also very grateful to all of our stakeholders who have continued to support the industry during this time.
In addition to direct returns to attendees via price increases over the past 12 months, HRNSW has also implemented a wide range of other investments, initiatives and investments.
Some of the highlights came in June 2021 when HRNSW secured $ 4.2 million in government funding for the Bathurst training center and for the recycling of retired racehorses. In the same month, the hugely important maternity program for female drivers was introduced.
Among the other key moments of the past year:
- August 2020: On behalf of owners, HRNSW made $ 1.5 million in historic driver retirement guarantee payments to the Australian tax office
- October 2020: Successfully delivered the postponed NSW Breeders Challenge program while facing restrictions imposed by COVID-19
- November 2020: Drug test detection strategies were launched with an additional investment of $ 400,000, which yielded positive results
- December 2020: Publication of the 2021/24 industry strategic plan – “Harnessing the Passion” – after six months of consultation with industry stakeholders, with confirmation of deliverables
- February 2021: Start of placement of retired racehorses, following the appointment of a manager
- March 2021: Launch of $ 750,000 per year asset replacement program for essential club race meeting equipment
- May 2021: Hosted the first annual NSW Breeders and Owners Forum, as well as five Group 1 TAB Regional Championships finals
“The key to the future is contained in the industry’s strategic plan which, in black and white, defines goals and is not based on declarations of motherhood. The plan confirmed targets that can be achieved by HRNSW, ”said Dumesny.
“In the weeks, months and potentially the year to come, a united industry will continue to run with the goal of HRNSW continuing to provide rewards and fun for all participants.”