Racing NSW announces emergency funding relief package after bushfires

Racing NSW on Thursday announced a one-off emergency funding relief package for owners, trainers and jockeys affected by the abandoned race meetings in recent weeks due to the effects of the bushfires.

The funding relief is a response to the losses occurring due to the spate of abandoned race meetings lost to the smoke and haze caused by the recent spate of bushfires in the past three weeks.

Compensation will be provided to participants affected by the loss of the race meetings, with a particular focus and additional relief for those situated in the Mid-North Coast area.

“There has been a substantial interruption to horse’s programs in recent weeks due to the unusual abandonment of these meetings. This extends to jockeys missing a significant number of race rides, and trainers and their owners particularly in the Mid North Coast region having fewer alternate options to race their horses. Racing NSW is fully committed to our participants and this was the appropriate action to compensate those affected,” said Mr Peter V’landys AM, Racing NSW’s Chief Executive.

Three race meetings have been abandoned due to the effects of the fires on the day of the meeting.

19 November 2019      Taree           (abandoned 9.30am day of meeting)

21 November 2019      Hawkesbury  (abandoned 9.30am day of meeting)

23 November 2019      Kempsey       (abandoned 10.30am day of meeting)

In addition, Kempsey races on 11 November were abandoned after race 4 (abandoned meeting payments already made), and Warwick Farm Barrier Trials were abandoned twice – once on 19 November after 2 heats were run, and again on 21 November when 6 heats were held before the air quality caused abandonment.

Port Macquarie races set for 14 November were abandoned the day prior. Horses also missed trackwork in recent weeks due to the poor air quality, particularly in the Mid North coast region, hindering their preparation to race.

Funding relief will be as follows for horses that were set to race at race meetings or trials abandoned on the day of the meeting - Taree, Hawkesbury and Kempsey (23 November meeting):

i) abandoned race meeting payment of $200 per horse plus travel allowance where applicable - to be credited by trainers to the owners' account

ii) increase that base payment for MNCRA trained horses to $500 per horse to be credited to the owners' account

iii) Minimum 3 rides payment per jockey per meeting all riders regardless of the number of rides

iv) 1 x $500 one-off payment for MNCRA trainers that had runners at one of those meetings

v) 1 x $500 one-off top-up payment for MNCRA jockeys that missed rides

vi) $200 flat payment for any horse that missed a run at Warwick Farm Barrier trials, to be credited to the owners' account

Trainers must credit the per horse payments to the owners' monthly accounts.

As per Racing NSW's earlier announcement, there is also general funding available on application for any participants affected by the fires.

“In addition to the lack of racing opportunities, there has been damage suffered by participants or extra travel and associated costs,” Mr V’landys added.

“Racing NSW is conscious of the extra financial burden this causes and will assist with funding to replace or replenish supplies and equipment."

For any inquiries please contact Keith Bulloch at Racing NSW via phone on (02) 9551 7588 or