The Cobar Miners Race Club annual Picnic Cup meeting scheduled for August 21 has been cancelled after the club’s petition for additional “prop up” funding from Racing NSW was rejected.
In a story first published in the Cobar Weekly, Cobar Miners Race Club President Jarrod Marsden said the committee had unanimously agreed last week not to proceed with the meeting given the adverse financial implications the current Covid-19 restrictions would have had on the event.
Marsden said there are also no indications that Covid-19 restrictions will ease by mid-August, with the club then petitioning Racing NSW to pick up the gap in funding the event.
“It costs us $37,800 to put on the picnic meeting and we have $15,000 in sponsorship, leaving a gap of $23,000,” Marsden said.
“Ironically that is the prizemoney of one mid-week TAB race so personally I don’t think it’s a big ask given the recent abandonment of many other meetings.”
In a response to the club, Racing NSW advised that no further funding would be forthcoming.
What disappoints Marsden and his committee the most is the fact that Cobar raced twice through the pandemic, offering participants a chance to race their horses while so many other meetings fell to the wayside.
“Cobar Miners Race Club held both meetings through the pandemic last year, one with no crowd and one with 50 per cent capacity, and while we were able to call in some favours from sponsors to enable those meetings to proceed without breaking the club financially, we cannot call in those favours again,” Marsden explained.
“Without the proceeds from a full gate and bar we will not be able to run the meeting without losing money and placing the club at risk.”
Marsden said the Cobar club was keen to support the racing industry as many participants in the Western area are not getting an opportunity to earn a living.
“We would like to work with racing NSW to give them a chance to do that, but we cannot continue to do it alone,” Marsden said.