Launched in 2015, the inaugural Country Championships proved a resounding success for the racing industry and generated unprecedented interest and coverage.
An initiative of Racing NSW and supported by the Government of NSW, The Country Championships was created to support and promote NSW racing in country areas, ensuring that horses from across the state are part of The Championships in Sydney in the autumn.
About The Series
- The Country Championships consists of a series of seven qualifying races, each held at a club representing one racing region in NSW.
- Each race will be worth $150,000 in prize money, and will be contested by eligible horses that must be under the care of a country trainer in that region.
- An eighth ‘Wild Card’ race, worth $50,000, will be held to provide one more opportunity for horses to qualify for the final that have already contested an earlier heat.
- The first and second horse in each regional race will qualify for the $500,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships final to be held at Royal Randwick in Sydney on Day 1 of The Championships.
2023 Country Championships
The 2023 Country Championships final will again boast a total prize pool of $500,000 and is restricted to eligible horses through the Country Championship qualifiers and is run under set weight conditions.
The Country Championships Final for 2023 will be run on April 1, 2023 at Randwick Racecourse with regional qualifier dates and locations to be announced.
2019: Noble Boy for Todd Blowes and Hugh Bowman; second: Lucciola Belle for Wayne Wilks and Andrew Gibbons; third: Bennelong Dancer for Donna Scott and Blaike McDougall.
2016: Clearly Innocent for Greg Bennett and Tommy Berry; second: Pera Pera fort Mack Griffith and Hugh Bowman; third: Ever So Natural for Cliff Bashford and Damien Oliver.