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Thanks to Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, thoroughbred breeders now have access to concessional government loans with borrowers only paying interest for the first five years.

Available via the Regional Investment Corporation, RIC, there are five different loans all of which are available via this federally backed body that provides finance to primary producers.

“This is a big win for the industry and I’m sure the loans will prove very popular with breeders across the country,” said Thoroughbred Breeders Australia President Basil Nolan.

“For those people who want to grow their businesses this decision will be very welcome news as there aren’t many lenders who are willing to give you five years of paying interest only.”

“There has been a significant amount of work in the background on this issue from Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, so it is great to get this result following a sustained lobbing effort.”

Available for a wide variety of purposes, Breeders can access these loans to buy land, purchasing breeding stock, and acquire machinery plus have access to other capital investment.

Following a government review of the eligibility criteria, the RIC loans are provided on a variable interest rate which currently stands at 2.31%, and need to be matched by a commercial loan.

Established in 2020, Regional Investment first began issuing loans restricted to farmers involved in food and fibre production, and therefore not available to thoroughbred breeders.

In announcement, the Federal Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud expressed “the thoroughbred industry is an important part of our regional communities and economy, so I am pleased thoroughbred breeders will now have access to RIC loans.

“These RIC loans provide vital assistance in the bush, and I expect breeders will use this finance to invest in their businesses. It will further strengthen Australia’s reputation as a leader in the global thoroughbred industry.”

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia chief executive Tom Reilly said the loans would be particularly well received by those breeders looking to expand their businesses.

“I’m delighted at this announcement as these loans will be particularly helpful for those breeders who are trying to really drive their operations forward and need affordable credit.”

“In making this investment happen, this decision is a very tangible dividend on the strong focus TBA has placed on developing relationships with the federal government.”

At neighbouring Racing NSW its Chief Executive Peter V’landys AM who announced the “Equimillion will become the go to event for equestrian competitors in all disciplines.”

“It has the potential to carry more than the $1m in prizemoney and in time will be not only a major equestrian event, but a major event for NSW with competitors coming from all states of Australia.”

In launching an equestrian event exclusively for retired racehorses, Racing NSW plan initially to have the October 2023 long-weekend to showcase the versatility and suitability of Thoroughbreds.

The $1m plus prizemoney will be distributed across a range of disciplines and classes in the biggest two-day equestrian event ever to be held in NSW, and will include eventing, show jumping, dressage and showing with a particular focus on amateur competitors.

Ahead of the event, Racing NSW will host an auction for recently retired Thoroughbred racehorses, with those horses being purchased at the auction being eligible to compete at Equimillion.

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