Racing NSW has announced an emergency funding relief package of up to half a million dollars for trainers and owners in two flood ravaged districts of country New South Wales.

The package is for participants in the Southern Districts (SDRA) and Central-West (CDWRA) regions of the state following a prolonged stretch of wet weather and storm damage.

“The funding relief is a response to the uncharacteristically high rate of abandoned race meetings in the Southern and Western regions in the past six weeks,” Peter V’landys, Racing NSW’s chief executive said in a statement.

“The incredibly high rate of abandonments has affected trainers in particular, who have to pay their staff and continue running costs. Racing NSW is fully committed to our participants and this was the appropriate action to compensate the trainers and their owners.

Racing NSW estimates “approximately 400 individual horses trained in either SDRA or CDWRA have missed a start at least one of the 13 cancelled meetings in the last six weeks”.

“Horses also missed significant trackwork due to damage or closed tracks and training facilities, hindering their preparation to race,” the statement also read.

“There is also funding available on application for any significant storm damage caused to a trainer’s property or supplies by the severe rain, wind and flooding.

“Trainers in the worst affected areas will be contacted and invited to make application for lost equipment, supplies or damage sustained to stabling, etc.”

NSW Trainers Association chief executive Glenn Burge expressed appreciation following the announcement saying “financial pressure is being relieved” by the package.

“It has been a very tough period for those in the worst affected regions, keeping horses prepared to find meeting after meeting cancelled or postponed due to persistent rain,” he said. “We are delighted that Racing NSW has come up with a package of financial support above the normal flood relief fund.

“With the financial support and the commitment to adding extra meetings – or races on a program – where possible into November, the financial pressure is being relieved.”