Racing Queensland is set to showcase some of the state’s most iconic regional events over the next 12 months including the Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Festival and the Mt Isa Rodeo.
Earlier today, RQ announced that it will provide TAB opportunities to a further seven regional thoroughbred clubs, including national television coverage on Sky Racing, following the success of the 2018 Birdsville Cup as it continues to unlock commercial outcomes for the industry.
In addition, Birdsville, which enjoys an annual pilgrimage of close to 7000 fans to the remote Simpson Desert town, will retain its status on TAB circuit in September with the concept expanded across the state to include Barcaldine, Dalby, Emerald, Innisfail, Mount Isa, Warwick and Yeppoon.
“Racing plays an important role in regional communities right across Queensland and we’re delighted to be able to showcase them in this manner,” RQ Deputy Chair Sharon Dawson said.
“By providing non-TAB clubs with TAB opportunities we are able to deliver increased prize money for participants, greater wagering returns back to the industry and can broadcast our regional clubs to national and international TV audiences.”
In addition to the Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Festival and the Mt Isa Rodeo, the Longreach Cup will be broadcast nationally for the first time, while the likes of Emerald and Innisfail will trial mid-week timeslots on SKY1.
At the beginning of last year, the Queensland Government announced more than $70 million in funding to support country racing and to recognise the social and economic benefits it provides to regional communities, as well as the racing industry more broadly.
“We’re great supporters of country racing and our $70 million investment over four years is providing the support the industry needs at the grassroots level,” Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
“Country racing brings local communities together, helps to drive visitation to regional towns and boosts local economies.
“Racing helps to define country Queensland and the government will continue to support clubs and participants because of the benefits the sport delivers.”
With RQ committed to delivering events and experiences that showcase Queensland - bringing people together through the thrill of racing - Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said today’s announcement coincided with the Premier’s Year of Outback Tourism.
“Growing the tourism industry in the outback is an important part of our strategy to grow the economy and create jobs in west Queensland,” she said.
“We know that people travel to see great events. That’s why major events like these are so important.”
The non-TAB meetings to run as TAB meetings throughout 2019/20 are:
- July 23, 2019: Yeppoon Turf Club;
- August 8, 2019: Mount Isa Race Club;
- August 20, 2019: Warwick Turf Club;
- September 6-7, 2019: Birdsville Race Club;
- September 28, 2019: Longreach Jockey Club;
- November 1, 2019: Dalby & Northern Downs Jockey Club;
- January 4, 2020: Innisfail Turf Club;
- February 18, 2020: Warwick Turf Club;
- March 10, 2020: Emerald Jockey Club; and
- May 2, 2020: Barcaldine Racing Club.