A new equine-focused veterinary clinic will be built at Murray Bridge Racing Club, further vindicating the Marshall Liberal Government’s recent multi-million dollar, job-creating investment in the Gifford Hill facility.
News of the private enterprise project follows a $5 million State Budget 2020-21 funding announcement to help transform the club into one of Australia’s elite horse-training facilities, via 150 on-course stables and a 70-metre equine pool.
SA-based Torrens Building and Civil will construct the vet clinic – which has received development application approval – on the club’s land.
“Already a few vets are interested in it, and because it’ll be very close to the race course it’ll be very handy for trainers,” said Murray Bridge Racing Club chairman, John Leahy.
“It certainly builds on the momentum here at Murray Bridge, as we continue to move towards completion of the necessary infrastructure to be a complete training hub.
“But also the fact it’s a private investment shows faith in us, along with the State Government’s decision to put $5 million towards stabling and swimming pool infrastructure.
“A private investor has seen that the State Government is going to back us, so they’ve decided to jump in with their own money.
“We look forward to working with Torrens Building and Civil to deliver this project.”
Racing SA contributed $2 million towards the Murray Bridge project announced last year.
Racing SA CEO Nick Redin said the veterinary clinic was another step forward in the club’s journey towards becoming an integral component of the organisation’s long-term SA racing industry strategy, which benefited from a $24 million Marshall Liberal Government racing industry stimulus package.
“This vet clinic, together with the previously announced stables and state-of-the-art equine pool, plus the uphill sand track, helps us deliver a full on-course service at Murray Bridge and gives the facility an even better chance of attracting new trainers to our state,” Mr Redin said.
“It is a key part of growing horse numbers in South Australia which, in turn, will drive further investment and growth in the industry.”
John Thring, of Torrens Building and Civil, said his desire to invest in Murray Bridge drove the decision to launch the vet clinic.
“We employ half a dozen people from Murray Bridge and a variety of local subcontractors are already in our work system,” he said.
“I’m 100 per cent behind the industry, because I’m a racing fan and I love the Murray Bridge area.”
Mr Thring said he and his team are “100 per cent behind the success of the Gifford Hill project” and are supportive of employment at local companies in Murray Bridge.
“This is a long-term investment for our family in Murray Bridge,” he said.
Mr Thring also said early indications suggested “there is ample interest in seeking a successful vet”.
“We’re genuinely excited about the project and other people are too,” he said.
Mr Thring said work on the facility would begin as soon as possible.
Mr Redin said since the Gifford Hill facility was opened in 2019, the SA racing industry has seen a significant increase in awareness from trainers – from around SA, interstate and overseas – about the Murray Bridge Racing Club and its growing appeal.
He said completing the club’s necessary infrastructure was crucial to driving further growth and creating jobs in racing and he was pleased to see the vision of the club, industry and government backed by private investment to deliver the vet clinic.