Dates confirmed for 2023 Inter Dominion

Australasia’s premier harness racing event will take centre stage at Albion Park throughout December next year.

The dates and venue for the 2023 Inter Dominion Championship have today been unveiled, commencing on Friday, December 1, 2023.

The second and third rounds of qualifiers will follow on December 5 and December 9 respectively, culminating with both pacing and trotting finals on Saturday, December 16.

Hot off the heels of the 2022 Inter Dominion, which concluded at the weekend, all eyes will now be on Queensland, who will host the series for the first time since the Gold Coast in 2009.

Racing Minister Grace Grace said that she was looking forward to welcoming Australasia’s premier pacers and trotters to Queensland for the time-honoured series.

“We are delighted to welcome the Inter Dominion back to Queensland,” Ms Grace said.

“It will be the first time Albion Park has hosted the Inter Dominion in 22 years.

“Hosting the Inter Dominion will showcase everything that is great about the sport here in the Sunshine State, both on and off the track.

“The Palaszczuk Government is Queensland racing’s strongest supporter, and this event will be a major boost for harness racing, which contributes about $185 million to the state’s economy every year.”

Prize money will remain consistent with this year’s series; the Pacing Inter Dominion Final will carry a $500,000 purse, while the Trotting Inter Dominion Final will remain at $250,000.

Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said the return of the series to Queensland is a feather in the cap for the innovation and growth of the state’s harness racing industry.

“Queensland remains at the forefront of innovation in the sport, with broadcast enhancements including driver cam and drone vision, alongside significant boosts to our programming, including the introduction of flagship races like The Rising Sun,” Mr Parnell said.

“The Inter Dominion is an international icon in the sport, and we are proud to boast a long and storied history with the series here in Queensland.

“This year’s qualifiers have been strategically programmed to allow three days between rounds, en route to the crowning jewel of the series on December 16.”

Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Brad Steele said that The Creek is delighted to host the Inter Dominion for the first time since 2001, when Kiwi Yulestar (pacers) and Take a Moment (trotters) saluted.

“It’s been more than two decades since Albion Park hosted an Inter Dominion Series and ID23 will be an incredible event both on and off the track,” Mr Steele said.

“There’s nothing better than thrilling harness action, featuring stars from Australia and New Zealand, whether they be pacers or trotters.

“On and off the track, we’ll be putting on a show as well, with quality entertainment, fine dining and cold beverages as The Creek really hots up for three weeks of sheer adrenalin.”

This announcement follows the recent confirmation that a new Queensland Centre of Excellence will be established in the Sunshine State.

Situated near Norwell, just 40 minutes between Brisbane and Gold Coast, the world-class harness racing facility is expected to host more than 200 meetings per annum, and critically, will include training and stabling facilities which are presently unavailable in Queensland.

By Racing Queensland