The new equine pool at Gawler is tipped to attract more thoroughbred trainers to the region, industry insiders say.
The $495,000 pool was launched last Friday by SA Racing Minister Corey Wingard, whose Liberal State Government set aside $2.5 million for 10 projects across SA, as part of a $24 million racing industry stimulus package.
Among those to speak at the official opening was experienced Gawler-based trainer Gary Searle, who predicted the pool would be a game-changer.
“It will be a great addition to the facilities here at Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club for the training and rehabilitation of horses, trained in the Gawler area,” Mr Searle said.
“This now puts us in line with tracks like Morphettville, who already have these facilities, and they were miles in front of us because of that.
“To (club CEO) Shane Collins and the committee of the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club, thank you for having the foresight in applying for the funding and I’m sure going forward it will encourage more trainers and horses to this area.”
Mr Searle’s view was shared by Mr Wingard, club president John Hatch, and Thoroughbred Racing South Australia CEO Nick Redin.
“It’ll help you, the trainers and the club, grow this industry and grow jobs here as well,” Mr Wingard said.
“It means that as a club, as a region, as a community you can offer that better service and again attract more people to be part of the racing club…”
In addressing the gathering, Mr Redin thanks the State Government for providing the funding and said the pool was “the first piece of infrastructure to be delivered across the regions”.
“An equine pool is a wonderful facility for the trainers that are based here at Gawler, but also for the broader equine community in the region,” Mr Redin said.
“We’re really excited about the future for racing in this state. We are driven to grow it (and) we’ve got the government support helping us with some infrastructure pieces.
“And they’re going to be placed in our major training centres: this facility at Gawler (and) facilities to come at Murray Bridge, Strathalbyn and Morphettville.
“There are four big training centres in the state, and that’s where the jobs are going to be created, by growing our training numbers and growing our horse numbers.”