In welcome news for the harness racing industry, the Board of HRNZ yesterday approved an additional distribution of $1.436m to clubs. This represents an increase of almost 5% of the annual funding extended to clubs.
In announcing this decision, HRNZ Chairman, Gary Allen stated: "Owners will be the key beneficiaries of this decision as this will result in increased returns to industry stakeholders over the next 12 months."
This exciting news follows the New Zealand Racing Board's (NZRB) recent welcome announcement of an increase in its forecast distribution to the three Racing Codes in the 2012/13 season from $132m to $135m. HRNZ has reviewed its distributions to clubs in light of this additional funding and under expenditure in the season to date under the Code Funding Policy.
Gary Allen said "this is great news for the industry and given the NZRB's revised profit projections will be sustainable in the 2013/14 season. This will give increased confidence to all industry participants and result in improved returns to industry stakeholders."
HRNZ has accordingly increased the minimum stakes per race from $4,500 to $5,000 from 1 April 2013. Clubs will also be encouraged to review their stakes distribution models to develop incentives that encourage increased participation and field sizes. Maximising field sizes across the industry is essential to maximising wagering domestically and internationally.
In developing the Code's 2013/14 Funding Policy HRNZ will consider a number of options to incentivise starting numbers. "The industry will be consulted in the development of these plans as we seek feedback from participants as to what would motivate them to start their horses more regularly and maintain or increase their breeding activity" said Gary Allen.
Media Release courtesy of HRNZ