Cull off as fence goes up

QRACING administrator Brendan Comyn says the completion of a $56,000 kangaroo resistant fence at the Queanbeyan Racecourse means the club will not have to go through with its annual cull of the animals.

For the past two years the club has secured permits to cull kangaroos, citing safety concerns during trackwork and on race days with riders at risk of striking the animals.

But Comyn said the recently installed fence had thus far proved successful in keeping the interlopers out of the course.

“Previously we’ve had to cull them as we’ve had incidents where kangaroos have come very close to the horses during work or on race day and Kangaroos and horses don’t mix,” he said.

“One or two [kangaroos] isn’t an issue but we were getting up to 200 of them in there each morning and that situation couldn’t continue; it was just too dangerous.

“But the fence seems to have been working well since we put it up so hopefully we won’t need to cull them again in future.”

Comyn, meanwhile, said the club was looking forward to a stronger year in 2014 following the release of RacingNSW’s latest draft of the 2014/15 racing schedule.

Queanbeyan has been allocated 12 meetings for the season, in line with 2013/14. But Comyn said the club was set to benefit from more advantageous scheduling in the form of three Saturday meets.

“Last season we had a lot of Mondays and Tuesdays and a few Sundays but no Saturday meetings,” he said.

“That’s fine for betting turnover but in terms of actually getting people to the track, having three Saturday meetings is terrific. In terms of generating bar sales and gate takings, it’s certainly encouraging.

“Ideally we’d like more meetings but realistically we’re looking at 12 and a better 12 in terms of days and dates than we’ve had before.”

Queanbeyan will not race again until March 3 with QRacing set to take advantage of the break to complete remedial work on the track.

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