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NSW racing participants affected by the cancellation of meetings because of the bush fires will be able to recoup some of the costs via a one-off relief package.

Racing NSW has made emergency funding available with four race meetings recently abandoned because of smoke haze and poor air quality.

A meeting at Kempsey was called off halfway through the program while two sets of barrier trials at Warwick Farm were also lost.

Racing NSW said it would compensate participants affected by the abandoned race meetings with a particular focus on the NSW mid-north coast region which has been most severely impacted.

“There has been a substantial interruption to horse’s programs in recent weeks due to the unusual abandonment of these meetings,” Racing NSW chief executive, Peter V’landys, said.

“This extends to jockeys missing a significant number of race rides and trainers and their owners, particularly in the mid-north coast region, having fewer alternate options to race their horses.

“Racing NSW is fully committed to our participants and this was the appropriate action to compensate those affected.”

Racing NSW is also offering general funding relief for participants affected by the bush fires on an application basis.

Funding relief will be as follows for horses that were set to race at race meetings or trials abandoned on the day of the meeting – Taree, Hawkesbury and Kempsey (Nov 23).

i) abandoned race meeting payment of $200 per horse plus travel allowance where applicable – to be credited by trainers to the owners’ account

ii) increase that base payment for MNCRA trained horses to $500 per horse to be credited to the owners’ account

iii) Minimum three rides payment per jockey per meeting all riders regardless of the number of rides

iv) 1 x $500 one-off payment for MNCRA trainers that had runners at one of those meetings

v) 1 x $500 one-off top-up payment for MNCRA jockeys that missed rides

vi) $200 flat payment for any horse that missed a run at Warwick Farm barrier trials, to be credited to the owners’ account

Trainers must credit the per horse payments to the owners’ monthly accounts.

There is also general funding available on application for any participants affected by the fires.

“In addition to the lack of racing opportunities, there has been damage suffered by participants or extra travel and associated costs,” V’landys said.

“Racing NSW is conscious of the extra financial burden this causes and will assist with funding to replace or replenish supplies and equipment.”

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