A NEW multi-purpose equine arena will unlock the economic potential of Uralla Showground after three years of major upgrades.
Last week, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced a $107,740 State Government grant for the Uralla Pony Club and Uralla Campdraft and Sporting Club to fully construct the regional facility.
Uralla Campdrafting and Sporting Club President Ben Saxby said the flow-on benefits of the new arena for local riders and the wider community would be significant.
"As a parent with four children who ride within Uralla Pony Club, I am excited to be a part of a club where my children, along with other members, have the opportunity to better their skills in different horse sports because of this new arena," Mr Saxby said.
"The knock-on effect for the community through publicity and dollars into town will be massive as the state of the art facilities are hired out for events.
"Our club has seen an unprecedented level of support from locals and by way of reciprocity, we want to provide high profile events, run by the community for the benefit of the community.
"We have an amazing talent pool with a diverse skill set within our committee ranging from campdraft experts, veterinarians, local farmers, social media and marketing specialists and business leaders which allows us to build lasting foundations for the longevity of the club."
Mr Marshall said the multi-purpose arena will be the cherry on top of $389,392 in recent facility upgrades made to make Uralla Showground a premier equine and community events venue.
"Built to service a range of uses this new arena will single-handedly open the Uralla Showground up to hosting events for more than seven horse and rodeo disciplines," Mr Marshall said.
"The land managers have done a power of work to modernise the showground, but it is this new arena on the site Ring 2 which will be the key to unlocking the facility's economic potential.
"The arena will be an enclosed work out yard and the existing uneven lovegrass surface will be replaced with a level sand surface to improve safety for riders of all skill levels.
"In its current state Uralla Showground is a real credit to the land managers and all its regular user groups.
"With the addition of the multi-purpose arena Uralla will have a first-rate equestrian facility that gives young riders a safe place to learn and brings events, people and importantly dollars to town."
Uralla Pony Club President David Adams said he hoped the new arena would help grow participation and the organisation's chances of hosting future regional and NSW State Pony Club events.
"Within the Pony Club we have an 8:1 female to male rider ratio which is something we are incredibly proud of as there are not too many sports that offer a level playing field for boys and girls and still have such a high participation and success rate for female competitors," Mr Adams said.
"Having an arena which services a variety of exciting disciplines, like campdrafting, means we will have somewhere family units can ride, compete and learn together.
"I think this will lead to an increase in local rider numbers and maybe volunteers within the club.
"Increased use of the showground will generate revenue for the land managers to re-invest in facilities.
"We are so excited to be hosting the 2023 regional Pony Club Jamboree and off the back of that we will be applying for State Pony Club events across multiple disciplines.
"I am confident the facilities at Uralla will greatly aid our bids.
"The camaraderie and friendship within Uralla Pony Club is well-known and I look forward to seeing that develop into the future through new clinics and come-and-try days facilitated because of our new arena."
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