Trotting back in to Maryborough

HARNESS RACING: No regular trotting action has been seen at the Maryborough Showgrounds since 1985, but that long drought is almost over.

Racing will be re-introduced at the first-class facility on January 10 and will feature seven events with full fields of eight pacers in each race.

Horses will come from the Leigh Wanless stables and training track at Maryborough, while owners and trainers from Redcliffe and Albion Park, Toowoomba and South Burnett will attend.

Two bookies will ensure punters are kept busy during the sport’s return.

Wide Bay Harness Club publicity officer Keith Kratzmann said new owner drivers from Bundaberg south were also expected to become part of the industry. Wide Bay Harness Racing Club vice-president Don Cross said these were exciting times for the sport in the region.

“It will be something different for the public to come and watch – that’s the key,” he said.

“It will be really great to see the horses going around the track again because that was what it was built for and it’s been idle for so long.”

The long-term structure of the sport in Maryborough will depend on the interest shown by the crowds.

Earlier this month, 2000 people attended the Toowoomba trots and Cross said if they came close to that it would be considered a success.

“I’d like to think that we’ll get between 1000 and 1500,” he said.

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