TAMWORTH'S annual Golden Guitar Harness Race has received a welcome boost thanks to the state government.
In 2020, the club's time honoured race will offer trainers and owners double the prize money with the race now earning the winner $50,000.
Next year will mark the club's 41st annual Golden Guitar Harness Race after the club launched the event in 1979.
The event has seen some of the sport's best compete including Mach Beauty who then went on to contest the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion.
Tamworth Harness Racing Club chairwoman Julie Maughan said the club was "absolutely rapt" with the support from not only the state government but also from Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW).
"My Board and the participants work hard for the betterment of the north-west and to achieve our objectives," Maughan said.
"One of which was [to attain] group status for our flagship race [which], is fantastic for all."
The funding boost brings the club's total prize money for its annual Golden Guitar Carnival, held over three meetings, to a record quarter-of-a-million-dollars.
HRNSW chairman Rod Smith said the prize money would be a part of total of more than $1.5 million of prize money the club would offer during the next financial year.
"Our commitment to regional harness racing and in this instance the North West is well demonstrated," Smith said.
"Next year HRNSW will provide $1.5 million in prize money at Tamworth double what was available to participants a short five years ago."
Smith said the funding boost was a direct result of the hard work put in by the Tamworth Harness Racing Club.
"In the last four years the number of race meetings at Paceway Tamworth has increased from 20 to 30," he said.
"I compliment the Club and the participants for demonstrating to my board how strong our industry is in the region."
Tamworth MP and minister for racing Kevin Anderson said the financial support from the state government was imperative in helping the sport grow in regional NSW.
"We want our regional racing scene to continue to grow, which is why this investment in Tamworth's Golden Guitar Harness Race is so important," Anderson said.
"The country music festival in Tamworth is such an iconic event, and we can celebrate an iconic harness race as part of it."
Next year's Golden Guitar Harness Race will be held on Thursday, January 23.