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Racing NSW has allocated $1 million towards assisting NSW thoroughbred racing participants who are suffering financial hardship because of the drought.

The governing body’s chairman Russell Balding said Racing NSW had spent the past few weeks looking at ways to provide immediate assistance.

“Racing NSW management for the past month have been looking at how we can best assist our participants and ensure their viability during this prolonged stretch of drought conditions in NSW,” Balding said.

“”Virtually every part of the state is affected with almost one quarter being classified as “intense drought”. Accordingly, our first priority in this initial allocation is to look after participants who are in severe financial stress due to the drought.

“We don’t know how long this drought will go for, so we have ensured that our initial allocation is sufficient in the short to medium term.”

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said they had already helped some participants with mortgages and other immediate problems.

“We will also look at other programs to assist. It is important that Racing NSW does everything it can to assist its participants in their time of need,” he said.

V’landys said anyone in need could contact Racing NSW stewards in their area in confidence to help with feed and other situations causing financial hardship.

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