Marchmont Racecourse began its life in 1911 when a group of citizens put it to the NSW Minister for Lands that a portion of the Marchmont Estate should be set aside for horse racecourse. The argument was Yass Jockey Club needed a location in keeping with any between Sydney and Melbourne. The grant was made and since this time the Marchmont Racecourse has seen a lot of dust, blood, sweat and tears, and all agree it’s time the old track had some attention.
Fortunately, last week the NSW Government announced a record investment of $67 million for regional race tracks across NSW, including $150,000 for the redevelopment of Marchmont Racecourse Reserve.
Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman recently met with the Trust for Marchmont Racecourse to announce the good news. “The recently reformed Trust has a wonderful vision for the facility and I certainly share their ambition to develop a multi-purpose facility that the community can use year-round for outdoor recreation and equine sports.
“This is fantastic news for the people of Yass Valley as the flow-on effects of these improvements will reach every corner of the Yass Valley – which already enjoys visitors for the Picnic Races but imagine events for camp draft, polocrosse, equestrian and more – all staying in local hotels, eating at local cafes, and shopping in local stores,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
Ben Maguire, the Trust President welcomed the funding for assistance to clean-up and plan for the facilities future. “We would like to thank Wendy Tuckerman for supporting the renewal of this important community asset. The initial funding will give us the opportunity to clean up the interior of the race track and other areas, as well as developing a master plan for the site. We look forward to working with the community stakeholders and equine groups to determine as much utilisation as possible.”
“I remember playing polocrosse at Marchmont in the early 80s and it will be wonderful to see the grounds being used again for all these types of horse sports as well as the races,” Ben said.
The new Trustees, who were gazetted on 26th August 2021, include Eamon Burke, Cathy Bennett, Fleur Flanery, Bill Heuston and Ben Maguire. The new Trust quickly reached a consensus that the grounds can do with some funding and development plans to maximise the potential for the community.
The Trust also met recently with the Yass Race Club and assured them they remain an important user group for the site and wish the Club well in planning for its next meet on 26th February 2022.
Community consultation plans will be announced soon before any works are carried out on site.
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