South Australia’s racing industry has received a huge boost, with Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) announcing annual prizemoney increases totalling $3.84 million effective immediately.
The increases, which the TRSA Board approved at its January meeting, apply at all levels across the State and represent the most significant prizemoney boost since 2009.
Key highlights include:
> Current $32,000 and $35,000 Saturday races will rise to $40,000, representing a total annual increase of $1.09m;
> Non-Maiden races at Wednesday Provincial meetings (approximately 220 races) will increase by 36% to $15,000. This is a total annual increase of $880,000;
> Prizemoney for Country non-Maiden races (approximately 105 races) will increase by 25% to $10,000. Maiden races at Wednesday Provincial meetings (approximately 180 races) will increase by 20% to $12,000, representing an annual increase of $570,000;
> Group 3 races will increase to $120,000 and Listed races by 25% to $100,000, a full year increase of $575,000; and
> Provincial and Country Cups across South Australia (including non-TAB) receive a boost to prizemoney totalling $365,000.
The full year impact for the 2015/16 season is $3.843 million – a rise of 12.7% over the original budgeted prizemoney for the current 2014/15 season.
TRSA Chief Executive Officer Jim Watters said the increases were designed to keep industry participants employed and stimulate growth for the future.
“The Board has worked strategically to grow our revenues and reserves to a point where we were in a position to be able to do something that sent a strong message to the industry,” Mr Watters said.
“These increases are intended not only to secure the employment of the thousands already engaged in racing at all levels across South Australia, but also to stimulate additional participation and interest via ownership, breeding and race day attendance.”
Along with the prizemoney increases, the TRSA Board has also committed an additional $485,000 to club funding.
The South Australian Jockey Club and regional racing hubs, where the majority of the State’s racing and training activity takes place, will receive the bulk of this funding. Club Training and Race Day Grants will increase by $300,000 per annum, with the increase to apply retrospectively from 1 July 2014. Club marketing funding provided by TRSA will increase by 2% annually and other club race day costs will be absorbed by TRSA, totalling $185,000 per annum.
Mr Watters said the TRSA Board had consulted with a wide range of industry stakeholders and the proposed increases had been met with an overwhelmingly positive response.
“What we are introducing has been fully costed over our next five year budgets to ensure it was sustainable, which is why we first had to grow reserves before introducing the increases,” Mr Watters said.
“South Australian racing participants are among the very best in the country and we want to do whatever we can to prevent a drain of skilled employees. We consider this significant investment will help to counter migration of industry participants to other states.
“A strong industry, with healthy prizemoney and the initiatives announced, encourages future participation and investment at all levels of the industry in South Australia.
“The TRSA Board is mindful that while the latest investment in the industry goes some way to securing employment and participation, there is still a major challenge to be faced with regard to improving and maintaining the industry’s basic infrastructure to the level required by our participants and patrons.”