Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has announced increases in prize money for country racing carnivals across NSW, including the Snake Gully Cup.

Gundagai’s major event will boast a prize purse of $100,000, while eight feature Country Cup races will draw competitors with a $200,000 prize list, including Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, Tamworth and Albury.

“Racing carnivals are such wonderful days out and provide a fantastic opportunity to dress up, socialise and enjoy some top-quality racing,” Ms Cooke said.

“Competitors from across the Cootamundra electorate will no doubt be encouraged to see the increase in prizes in a long list of premium events, and it’s wonderful to see the Snake Gully Cup be earmarked for such an increase.

“Not only does the Snake Gully Cup provide an enjoyable day out, it also brings a valuable economic boost thanks to visitors who bring their tourism dollars to spend in hotels, restaurants and cafes.”

Ms Cooke said this tourism boost was a benefit to many country communities which were feeling the effects of the drought.

“It is no secret that country NSW is doing it tough, especially given this unprecedented drought,” Ms Cooke said.

“The flow-on effects to tourism, increasing overnight stays and providing a much-needed injection into our local economy, is what we so desperately need right now.”

The Snake Gully Cup will now also feature a new $50,000 ‘Country Magic’ race, which is restricted to country-trained horses only. The ‘Country Magic’ races will ensure country participants will have an extra opportunity to compete at these feature meetings.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson said the investment in country race days will help strengthen links between racecourses and the communities they serve.

“Racing is more than just an event in regional communities, it’s part of the culture, which is why we want to continue to make racing as enjoyable and accessible as possible,” Mr Anderson said.

“Our message is simple – suit up, frock up and rock up to races in country NSW, you won’t be disappointed.”

Racing NSW will provide marketing and promotional support to local race clubs. Support will also be provided by Destination NSW to drive tourism opportunities around the events.

The increases to the Snake Gully Cup are as follows:

Carnival/Race Meeting Month Race Existing Prizemoney New Prizemoney
Gundagai Snake Gully Cup Carnival November Snake Gully Cup $70,000 $100,000
Snake Gully Flying$35,000$50,000
Other Support Races (4)$128,000$140,000
Country Magic$30,000$50,000