Funding gets multi-million dollar hike

Funding for the 2021/22 season will be increased by nearly $3m, Harness Racing New Zealand has announced.

The latest funding model has been agreed to by the HRNZ Board after TAB NZ allocated $173.6m for the new season (August 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022), following a buoyant trading year where they have tracked well above budget.

Harness Racing will receive $46.2m, $3.1m more than it did for the corresponding 12 months. Of that $3.1m, the majority ($2.7m) is budgeted for increased stakes.

“It’s a good result for everyone in our sport,” says HRNZ Chief Executive Gary Woodham, “we have always stated that increasing stakes is a priority, because we have to provide a return on investment for owners, breeders, trainers and other stake-holders.”

“This is the first step in that process.”

Clubs will be required to fully pay out 100 percent of funding for stakes, averaged over the whole season, though they can add sponsorship on top of that if they wish.

They will also get increased allowances for costs associated with running a race meeting, venues and tracks.

Under the new arrangement, Group 1s will also be worth at least $100,000 with $50,000 for all Groups 2s, and $30,000 for all Group 3 races. Increased funding will also go to trotters and lower to middle-graded racing, and all races during the New Zealand Cup carnival at Addington will carry a minimum stake of $25,000.

“There will be a lot more opportunities,” says Woodham, “the money from TAB NZ is going to be filtered across all levels of racing. And that’s key to our viability."

Harness Racing New Zealand is also committed to building up its reserves, with increased spending going towards animal welfare and promotion of racing.

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