Draft dates calendar "not done deal"

Harness Racing New Zealand would like to remind everyone in the sport that last week's draft dates calendar is just that - a draft.

Since it was released there has been an outpouring of comment, and in some case strong criticism, with many believing the new calendar is set in stone.

"There has been a lot of feedback from people thinking this is a done deal. It is not," says HRNZ General Manager - Racing, Catherine McDonald.

Included in the draft is the potential to have upwards of 86 more meetings in the 2024/25 season, mainly at Alexandra Park, Cambridge and Addington.

"It is great to have a partner in Entain that is so ambitious and forward-thinking and we have to be innovative when it comes to increasing turnover," says McDonald.

But the suggestion has seen many question how that would be happen given current horse numbers, and how and who would fund the extra races.

"All these are good points and that's exactly why the draft calendar is now out for discussion," says McDonald.

"It cannot be emphasised enough that Entain is testing the water here and now it's up to everyone in the sport to respond."

In coming weeks HRNZ plans to extensively liaise with clubs, kindred bodies, trainers and other stake-holders.

"We need to ensure all clubs and regions benefit from any changes and we need to grow the sport right through the country," says McDonald.

That consultation period will conclude on Monday, February 19 with HRNZ and the other codes needing to make a formal submission to the TAB Dates Committee by March 1.

The three codes will then come together with the TAB/Entain to finalise the calendar.

For any more information contact [email protected]

To see the draft calendar click here

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