Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Country Racing Facing Prospect of Slow Death

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Country Racing Facing Prospect of Slow Death

Article excerpt

VETERAN bookmaker Con Searle yesterday likened Esk and Kilcoy's reduction in race meetings to "a slow cancerous death".

Today he is meeting with other members of the Kilcoy Jockey Club to discuss whether or not plans for a training track will be put on hold.

Another topic will be how the club will remain viable with only two race meetings from July next year instead of the usual five and no administrative funds from Queensland Racing Limited (QRL).

Esk Jockey Club suffered the same fate - a reduction in meetings from five to two.

Gatton Jockey Club was spared and named a strategic club, it will have five race meetings next year, a reduction of only one meeting.

QRL chairman Bob Bentley announced Monday evening his organisation would no longer fund the administration of non-strategic non-TAB clubs such as Esk Jockey Club as their race meetings were considered to be community events.

"I believe within five years the majority of the non-strategic clubs will not survive," Mr Searle said. …

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