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April 4, 2019

The Australian Turf Club Foundation has today awarded its first round of drought relief funds to racing industry participants across several towns in the State’s Central and Western Districts.

Thoroughbred trainers in Nyngan, Trangie, Narromine, Dubbo, Gligandra, Coonamble, Cobar and Cuttabri will receive bales of hay and Walgett Jockey Club will receive funds for the provision of water in the worst affected areas.

The first stage has already seen more than $60,000 raised by the Australian Turf Club Foundation through the sale of merchandise on racecourses, saddle cloth auctions and a percentage of prizemoney won by the ATC’s runner Osborne Bulls in the 2018 TAB Everest at Royal Randwick.

Aussie Helpers, an organization which aids drought relief, has also helped to raise and distribute the funds.

Racing NSW, Godolphin as slot partners in the TAB Everest with the Australian Turf Club, and the NSW Trainers Association have also been supporters of the Foundation’s first round of relief.
Trainers linked to the Dubbo Turf Club as well as the provision of water to Walgett Jockey Club will be among the first major beneficiaries.

Australian Turf Club Foundation Chairman Phil Morley said the foundation was announced in October 2018 to oversee collections and programs for charitable organisations to enhance the Club’s support of racing in NSW communities.

“The Australian Turf Club is proud of its role as NSW’s principal thoroughbred racing club and is very pleased to be able to help other racing clubs across the State,” Mr Morley said.

“This drought has been one of the worst in living memory for so many people and the ATC Foundation wanted to make it a first priority with these initial funds.

“We will continue to invite expressions of interest from NSW thoroughbred racing clubs and participants for the allocation of future funds raised by our customers and racing fans.”

Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter V’landys AM said the ATC Foundation funds were in addition to the $500,000 paid by Racing NSW to drought affected participants.

“Racing NSW is most pleased to further help racing industry participants for this very worthy cause,” Mr V’landys AM said.

Dubbo Turf Club General Manager Vincent Gordon said: “Assistance to trainers such as is being offered by the ATC Foundation will always be greatly appreciated as the effects of the extended period of drought continues to hit hard in Western NSW.”

Trainer Allan Prisk, who has 14 horses and is the only trainer at Cobar, said his bills for oats and hay had tripled in the last 12 months.

“I’d like to thank the Australian Turf Club Foundation and everyone involved, it is most appreciated. I don’t think everyone understands just how tough trainers and owners are doing it out here. Big bales of hay were about $180, now I’m paying $540.”

See the Prime7 news report on the Australian Turf Club’s hay drive here

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