New Zealand’s $9million Racing Boost

Over the recent weeks, many discussions have arisen in regard to big international events luring horses away from local racing in New Zealand. The better the purses and recognition of a race, the more great names in racing seem to fill the starting gates. It is a problem that is faced by racing authorities in New Zealand and Australia. But the government of New Zealand has brought forward a three year budget initiative that will boost the horse racing industry and its racing events.

The goal behind awarding the racing industry of New Zealand the $9million racing boost, is to retain the top horses of the country and decrease the number of quality bred horses leaving New Zealand to participate in racing events around the world. Racing Minister, Winston Peters, hopes that the 2008 budget initiative that will sponsor racing over the coming three years will uplift the clubs and racing attendance in New Zealand.

New Zealand authorities are not only hoping to lure some of the Australian greats, but to get international competitors interested in their racing events. The budget will be directed to the premier racing events to ensure that the races offer lucrative purses. Many of the Group 1 events that are run in New Zealand will be able to increase their purses to more than $1 million and some will match and improve on the $2 million Kelt Stakes.

The budget will also improve the horse racing infrastructure and encourage breeders and owners to become more involved with the New Zealand racing industry. Developing the image of the country’s horse racing events and diligence will hopefully increase interest from other international breeders and trainers. The assistance to the industry is a welcomed turn of events, bringing attention and recognition to horse racing and the quality stakes races that it offers.

Winston Peters was quoted as saying: “This is an exciting time for racing. Today’s initiative builds on the significant reduction in gaming duty in 2006, which has resulted in annual savings of an estimated $34 million. That money has been redirected into efforts to encourage ownership, reward customers, and improve infrastructure… Furthermore, the Safety Development Fund introduced last year has been well received by clubs, with the first year’s $1 million pool oversubscribed… The challenge now for racing is to build on these developments and work towards fulfilling the industry’s unrealized economic potential.”