Dates gained without backing of HRNZ

Forbury Park Trotting Club won out over the body which controls the trotting code.

The club won the right to hold 10 race meetings next season despite Harness Racing New Zealand (HRNZ) submitting it supported the club getting no meetings.

The Racing Industry Transition Agency (Rita) announced the final race dates last week with the Forbury Park club allocated 10 meetings next season.

The HRNZ board, which controls the harness racing code but does not set the dates, said in its submission it was concerned about the very low stakes-to-funding ratio of the Dunedin club which sat below 70%.

"Based on review of the club’s financials, this low ratio highlights over $600,000 of industry funding that does not appear to have been passed on to owners, trainers, and drivers in stakes but absorbed into the running costs of the venue," the submission said.

The board was also concerned about the low local horse population numbers and the cost to owners and trainers to travel to the venue.

It also said costs had to be cut in the racing industry and questioned the age and state of Forbury Park and the financial viability of the club.

It encouraged the club to engage with Southern Harness to look at hosting meetings at Forbury Park.

Forbury Park Trotting Club revealed it had sold a piece of land for about $1million for a residential development by a local consortium and would be part of a regional review of racing in Dunedin.


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