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  • Writer's pictureDave Layzell MP


HORSEPOWER is the focus of today’s visit (Wednesday 16 August, 2023) to the Upper Hunter Electorate by NSW Minister for Gaming and Racing, David Harris.

“Upper Hunter holds the State’s industrial giants of coal and electricity production, but, the world-class export industry of thoroughbred breeding is another significant pillar of the region’s economic contribution to the NSW economy,” Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell said.

“I thank Minister Harris for taking up the invitation to visit the Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Shire council areas to see for himself the importance the industries of his portfolio play in the region. It is important to understand the number of jobs that are supported by the thoroughbred breeding and racing industries, as well as the contribution they make to the NSW Treasury coffers every single day.”

Minister Harris and members of the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Racing and Breeding have participated in a study tour which encompasses the various activities that make the Upper Hunter the second largest thoroughbred breeding region in the world.

“Today’s study tour is a credit to the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association (HTBA), Thoroughbred Breeding Australia (TBA), Scone Equine Group and Racing NSW which have assisted me to showcase the economic drivers of these industries as well as the contributions they make to jobs in NSW,” Mr Layzell added.

Members for the NSW Parliament gained an appreciation of the investment, employment generation and economic contribution generated by the thoroughbred industry. It is a complex industry and takes time on the ground to truly understand the various business models. The group held an in-depth Q&A with the industry at one of the world’s largest horse studs, Coolmore, located at Jerrys Plains. An industry lunch at Scone Race Club followed the visit, which in return gave local horse breeders an opportunity to hear from the NSW Racing Minister.

Later in the day, the study tour inspected construction work on the state-of-the-art equine hospital and referral centre being built by the Scone Equine Group adjacent to the Scone Racecourse and Racing NSW Equine Precinct.

“The NSW Government’s investment in new racing facilities at Scone Race Club by Racing NSW, has already boosted confidence in the region. There has been further economic dividends from the private sector with construction of the new equine hospital. The breeding and racing industries in the Upper Hunter will continue to get stronger as a Centre of Excellence. I have no doubt this will occur as long as we maintain a strong collaborative partnership between the NSW Government, Racing NSW, local race clubs, local breeders, trainers and the rest of the racing industry,” Mr Layzell said.

The training opportunities available in the region were showcased with a visit to the Racing NSW Jockey Training Academy at the Scone Racing Precinct. This facility is already operating with training courses for apprentice jockeys from all over the world.

Capping off the tour, Minister Harris joined Mayor of Upper Hunter Shire Council,

Cr. Maurice Collison, to announce new street names for the racing precinct.

Major NSW races are the focus of the new street names which include Everest Drive, Golden Slipper Place and Golden Eagle Close.

This now forms a deep link between the Upper Hunter horse breeding region and Racing NSW’s globally significant events, where our locally bred bloodstock go on to showcase their talents.

PICTURE CAPTION: Coolmore principal Tom Magnier (second from the left) welcoming Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris, Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley, Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell and members for the NSW Parliamentary Friends of Racing and Breeding to the stud at Jerrys Plains.

PICTURE CAPTION: Tom Magnier introduces leading sire So You Think during the parliamentary study tour visit to Coolmore.


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