Showground purchased for trots to stay

On a winner: THRC deputy chairman Robert Betts believes the purchase of the Showground will secure the future of the sport in Tamworth. Photo: Gareth Gardner 011216GGE02

On a winner: THRC deputy chairman Robert Betts believes the purchase of the Showground will secure the future of the sport in Tamworth. Photo: Gareth Gardner 011216GGE02

The Tamworth Harness Racing Club will be staying put after Harness Racing NSW purchased the current property in what deputy chairman Robert Betts has hailed as a win for the club and the sport.

After years of conjecture about a move, including the purchase and planning of a new site on Burgmanns Lane, HRNSW finally had a bid accepted on the Tamworth Showground, which was first put on the market eight years ago.

“It is all about sustainability,” Betts said.

“The track here has already been upgraded and half mile racing is the most exciting harness racing there is.” 

Ownership of the site will allow us to secure the future of the sport here - Robert Betts

“The ownership of the site and an infrastructure guarantee from HRNSW will allow us to secure the future of the sport here in Tamworth.” 

Those upgrades will begin immediately after the final Tamworth Show on the sight in May, and will include a new club house that will incorporate the existing grandstand and protect spectators from extreme weather, as well as improvements to the stables and training facilities.

“We already have big fields and some of the better trainers coming here although we need to attract more professionals to guarantee sustainability,” Betts said.

“We need more harness horses trained on course and more trainers in the area.” 

“A training facility here has been lacking and I think the trainers will be excited about that.”

The club has already been enjoying a big year, with several meetings recently the biggest in the state, including this Sunday’s nine race twilight meeting, although the club won’t able to rely on racing alone in the future.

“We hope to keep attracting other events to the site,” Betts said.

“We can’t depend only on harness racing to remain sustainable.” 

“It is going to be good for the club and the region.” 

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