Day At The Track

Massive stake increases announced in NZ

02:20 AM 08 Aug 2008 NZST
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Rt Hon Winston Peters
Rt Hon Winston Peters - Racing Minister (New Zealand)
Courtesy Of - Biography Page

The exponential growth of stakes in harness racing in New Zealand of recent seasons continued today when it was announced that $1.6 million is being injected into stakes for next season.

Details were announced at the annual conference at the Heritage Hotel in Auckland this afternoon and most notably will see the 2008 New Zealand Trotting Cup become the equal richest aged pacing race in the world.

Key details of the stake injections are as follows...

(Media can use this table as long as it is credited to

The 2008/09 season will also see another $850,000 of club and industry funding.

The announcement follows a Budget night commitment of Minister of Racing Winston Peters to lift the stakes in selected premier races by $9m over the next three years, pending a proportionate commitment from industry and sponsors.

"We are delighted that the Minister recognised the significance of the racing industry in this year's budget - and it is testament to the strength of harness racing in New Zealand that our sponsors and clubs have so readily matched the additional government funding," said HRNZ Chairman Pat O'Brien.

Peters was buoyant when addressing the conference moments ago, and delighted to announce the rises.

"There have been a number of significant changes in New Zealand racing and these have assisted in the industry's development," he said.

"Owners are the life blood of racing and should be rewarded for the risk of racehorse ownership."

"The fact is that for a lot of people, there is not too much reward in owning a horse."

"This funding is designed to find co-sponsors around New Zealand to put us back on the international radar screen."

"The funding was never dollar for dollar, I don't know where that came from, it is designed to help racing clubs compete with the money on offer overseas and the retention of quality horses in New Zealand."

"It will be a boon to the economy over time."

"These stakes rises will attract more horses from Australia and further afield."

"There is no reason why we should not see the best from America racing in our country, after all that is the biggest stage of them all."

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