Queensland grass trotting to debut

01:59 AM 21 Nov 2013 NZDT
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Toowoomba’s Clifford Park
Toowoomba’s Clifford Park

Racing Queensland (RQ) stewards have given the green light for harness racing to be conducted on two grass racing surfaces following the successful conduct of official trials at Toowoomba’s Clifford Park and Kilcoy, Racing Minister Steve Dickson said today.

Mr Dickson said harness racing will return to its grass roots this weekend for the launch of the Queensland Grass Track Trotting Series, a unique racing experience held on grass galloping tracks in regional South-East Queensland.

“The Newman Government has delivered upon our election promise to rebuild a solid, accountable governance structure for racing from the ground up, and this announcement is a further part of that commitment,” Mr Dickson said.

“It’s another way we’re restoring confidence and excitement in the sport across Queensland, as we continue to rejuvenate the industry.”

The series, developed by RQ, will showcase harness racing to new audiences and boost the sport of harness racing in regional communities.

RQ CEO Darren Condon said the Queensland grass track trotting series will help the harness industry reconnect with the country.

“As well as being a unique day of country racing for local racegoers, harness racing fans across Australia will have the opportunity to get involved, with all races at Kilcoy being broadcast across the Sky Racing network,” Mr Condon said.

Following trials held on the inner grass track at Clifford Park on Saturday, November 16, RQ have received encouraging nominations for the inaugural Darling Downs Harness Racing Club series event at Toowoomba this coming Saturday, November 23, 2013.

“Previous harness race meetings conducted at Clifford Park were really well supported by racegoers so we jumped at the opportunity to host the meeting this Saturday,” said Toowoomba Turf Club CEO, Aaron Clancy.

A dual thoroughbred and harness code race meeting will then be held at Kilcoy Racing Club (KRC) on Sunday December 8, 2013 with the support of the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club (RHRC).

KRC President Con Searle said his committee has widely embraced the opportunity to host a grass trotting series event and have been working in conjunction with the RHRC to prepare for the event.

“We have been inundated with enquiries and bookings from people all over South-East Queensland and northern New South Wales,” said Mr Seale.

RHRC President Kerry Ebert said it is great to see a refreshing initiative introduced to the harness racing code.

“I think taking the sport back to the country will go a long way to help rejuvenate the popularity of trotting and the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club and I am excited that we can play a role in revitalising the industry for generations to come,” said Mr Ebert.

by Racing Queensland

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