The Narrandera Pony Club has been on the receiving end of a Liquor and Gaming Infrastructure Grant.
The grant, worth $134,109, was presented to the Club on Sunday by the Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke.
Pony Club Treasurer and Secretary Helen Langley said the grant funds would be split into two major infrastructure projects.
“We’re going to buy a small tractor with a front end loader and a slasher, which will cost about $50,000.
“The rest we’re going to re-invest back into the cross country course. We’ve established a partnership with Craig Gordon, who runs a business called Just Cross Country, and with him we will make large portable jumps.
With jumping, there are a lot of very technical jumps and they need to create ones for different difficulties. We’ll probably get about 40 or 50 jumps,” Mrs Langley said.
The Club will have to operate within the set parameters of the grant funding, but these upgrades will allow Narrandera to have more variety on the course.
“We’ve got water jumps, brush jumps and drops, but with this grant we’ll be able to upgrade the course with these new jumps.
“A lot of people from Wagga and Griffith already come to our course to school their horses. Although Wagga and Albury have their own courses, they’re quite limited. Our course is one of the only ones in South Western NSW that is more or less open to the public,” Ms Langley said.
Ms Cooke was on hand to congratulate the club.
“This project includes the purchase of portable cross-country jumps, a specialised tractor to help with jump installation and other general maintenance to ensure Narrandera Pony Club can continue to be a high quality public equestrian facility.
“It is essential that riders have the opportunity to practice at a facility that provides a high riding standard,” Ms Cooke said.
Currently regional NSW is awash with grant opportunities from the State Government.
“I was looking for volunteer grants and I came across this one. So I figured I should throw our hat in the ring!” Mrs Langley said.
Minister for Racing Paul Toole said the project was one of 22 across NSW funded through the latest round of the Clubgrants category three Infrastructure Grants program.
“More than $50 million in funding is being provided during this current term of government for projects across sport and recreation, emergency preparedness, and arts and culture,” he said.
“These grants are funded by a contribution from the state’s registered clubs to reinvest profits from gaming machines back into community projects.
“Our Government is pleased to provide this funding to help more people experience the many benefits of taking part in sport and leisure activities including improved fitness and well-being and greater social interaction.”
The program was improved in 2017 to give community organisations more chances to apply for a wider range of projects.
New funding ranges have encouraged more diverse projects, with a streamlined application process that cuts red tape and allows for faster assessment.