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Bigger than Texas

Thousands of horseracing fans descended on the border town of Texas at the weekend for the running of one of Queensland’s oldest races.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe was among the racegoers on hand for the Texas Cup, which has been run since the early 1900s.

“Queenslanders have a strong connection to the racing industry and that excitement is boiling over in Texas for this unique race that stops the region,” Mr Hinchcliffe said.

“The town is alive with people who have come from all over, filling up the accommodation, spilling into the camping area at the sports complex and giving this drought-stricken area a real economic shot in the arm.

“Race days like this are part of the social fabric of life on the land and it’s why the Palaszczuk Government has backed country racing because it is the lifeblood of rural and regional Queensland.

“I am delighted that the Texas racecourse is benefiting from the $70.4 million Country Racing Program, with a $20,000 grant to refurbish the barrier stalls and new padding installed for the running of the Texas Cup. Round two of this terrific program to boost regional race clubs is now open for applications.

“Racing in the Darling Downs-Maranoa region generates almost $58 million to the State’s economy.

“It sustains more than 470 jobs and approximately 3,400 participants who invest their time, skills and passion that underpins horse and greyhound racing in the state.”

Across the State, the racing industry contributes $1.5 billion to the Queensland economy and sustains 11,570 FTE jobs, with 43 per cent of this economic value directly benefiting regional economies.

The Queensland Government and the racing industry are also united on improving equine welfare with stakeholders attending two racehorse retirement and rehoming forums while Racing Queensland will implement a one per cent levy on prizemoney that will deliver $1.5 million for animal welfare.