The Queensland racing industry will donate more than $50,000 to drought-relief after staging the ‘1 for the Bush’ fundraising campaign over the weekend.
In total, $52,600 will be donated to the QCWA’s Public Rural Crisis Fund after Racing Queensland announced it would donate $1000 every time a runner carrying the number one saddlecloth won a race on Saturday and Sunday.
The nation’s biggest betting operators – Tabcorp, Ladbrokes, Sportsbet and BetEasy – agreed to match RQ’s contribution dollar for dollar, ensuring a $5000 windfall every time the number one saluted across the state.
Across the three codes, the number one triumphed on 10 occasions at the weekend including eight thoroughbreds, a greyhound and a harness winner.
Winners were found at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Barcaldine, Innisfail, Goondiwindi, Nanango and Albion Park.
“The 1 for the Bush fundraising campaign has been nothing short of a great success,” Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
“The funds raised will make a tangible difference to the many communities presently being impacted by the drought.
“Racing plays an important role across Queensland’s communities and I applaud the industry for its willingness to raise funds for such an important initiative.”
In addition, the top-three place getters from the TAB Country Cups Challenge Final at Doomben on Saturday – Deadly Choices ($5000), San Vincenzo ($3000) and French Hussler ($2000) – were awarded $10,000 by RQ to donate to a rural charity of their choice.
A number of racing clubs also supported the campaign with the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club donating $1000 from tonight’s Albion Park meeting after Cosmo Bill triumphed in the eighth, while the Kilcoy Race Club and Kilcoy Diggers provided $800 apiece through their on-course fundraising efforts.
“The industry’s response to 1 for the Bush was particularly heartening,” RQ Chairman Steve Wilson said.
“Thanks to their collective support, $52,600 will now be donated to the QCWA, who will ensure that a great deal of good will be delivered to some of our most vulnerable Queenslanders.
“Our thoughts remain with those facing adversity and we express our hope that rainfalls will soon bring an end to the terrible conditions many are enduring.”