UNDER PRESSURE: The Dingo Cup was a success this year but the club, like many others in Queensland country racing, is under mounting financial strain. file
UNDER PRESSURE: The Dingo Cup was a success this year but the club, like many others in Queensland country racing, is under mounting financial strain. file

Dingo Race Club feeling the pinch

WHERE there is no money, there can be no racing and nobody is more aware of this fact than Dingo Race Club president Jeff Olive.

After a funding grant which was little more than a drop in the ocean compared to recent offers given to TAB race meets in Queensland’s south-east and coastal communities, many country race followers are in disbelief.

New minimum safety standards set by Queensland Racing means the bulk of new funding flowing through country clubs, as little as it is, must be spent on bringing clubs into line with the requirements.

The $9000 allocated to non-TAB clubs such as Dingo will be welcomed by Olive, but he is adamant that it’s nowhere near the level needed to meet the standards set.

“Any money is good money but we can’t go on like this forever,” he said.

“It makes it real hard but somehow you just get by.

“A good committee like ours certainly helps.”

Recently the club installed new outside running rails as part of the new safety standards without any financial assistance. The club acquired the equipment by its own means.

He said the new funding grant, which was expected to be spread over a three-year period, would most likely be used to install air-conditioning in the jockey and stewards rooms – another component of the safety requirements.

“We don’t absolutely have to do it, but they strongly recommend it,” Olive said.

The Dingo course has in past years been typified as a dirt track but with strong rainfall across the region in recent months, the grass is looking greener than ever. QR standards stipulate tracks must be either dirt or turf and not a combination of both and that has Olive nervous.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen if we don’t get enough rain next year,” he said.

“Because they’re telling us it’s got to be one or the other.”

Whatever the circumstances, Olive is determined to bring the Dingo Cup and its world-famous Dingo trap-throwing competition back bigger and better next year.


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