In recent years, RQ has developed a Venue Strategy, which includes the creation of a harness racing centre of excellence to cater for professional trainers and hobbyists alike, removing a key obstacle that presently prevents new participants from entering the code.
Among the concepts to be presented to stakeholders include:
❱ State-of-the-art track designed for fast, fair racing with horse care at the forefront;
❱ Contemporary patron facilities that seamlessly connect with racing infrastructure such as raceday stabling to ensure a racing experience when on track;
❱ Stabling for more than 150 horses on-course (constructed in stages so the venue grows with usage):
❱ Consideration to cater for different trainer preferences (eg: barns or walk-in, walk-out stables);
❱ Multiple training tracks, in addition to the main racetrack, to enable flexibility and to ensure training and racing can be staged concurrently;
❱ The installation of training aids such as aqua exercise (horse swim), treadmills, and walkers; and
❱ Incorporation of modern technology to enable owners to remotely see their horse stabled and during track work.
RQ Chairman Steve Wilson AM said the creation of a Centre of Excellence was expected to retain and attract new and existing participants alike, while creating unique work/life balance opportunities.
“Given the proximity to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the establishment of the Queensland Harness Centre at Norwell would provide harness racing participants with a unique lifestyle opportunity to reside in communities such as Sanctuary Cove and Hope Island or in the River City with the 2032 Olympics on the horizon,” Mr Wilson said.
“We will get one opportunity to do this right and that includes optimising SEQ’s sub-tropical climate for participants and patrons alike.
“As a purpose-built harness racing facility, the code will boast unprecedented opportunity to utilise the venue for training and racing purposes.
“Presently, metropolitan programming is heavily reliant on Albion Park availability, with the construction of QHC ensuring greater emphasis can be placed on maximising wagering performance and returns to participants.”