Showgrounds arena receives major revamp

THE Royal Hobart Showgrounds is set for a major upgrade to its main arena courtesy of a funding boost from the State Government.

The $50,000 Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) grant will see works undertaken to level and re-seed a section of the main arena.

The arena is currently used for equestrian events such as dressage and show jumping, as well as for dog shows, archery and even medieval battles.

Once completed, it is hoped that soccer matches will also be brought back to the site.

Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania chief executive officer Scott Gadd said the funding would be a “big help” in getting one section of the old trotting track correctly fitted for the horses.

He said the footing would be significantly improved, making it much safer for horses competing on the arena.

“Hopefully with the upgrade, we can attract more Equestrian events to the Showgrounds in the future and the Horse of the Year event is one in particular we would really like to attract,” he said.

Equestrian Australia’s 2017 Horse of the Year, Daisy, was in the stables to welcome Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison Elise Archer when she arrived to make the funding announcement.

“Currently, there is a 21-metre-wide trotting track around the arena that hasn’t been used for several years, since the pacers and greyhound races moved to Elwick, now Ubet Park,” Ms Archer said.

“Leveling this old track will result in more usable space for a whole range of sports, equestrian events and other events that regularly take place at the Showgrounds.

“The funding is another step towards the Royal Agricultural Society realising its Master Plan by continuing to upgrade this site, to become a flexible events precinct for a multitude of community uses, which I wholeheartedly support as their local Member.”

It is hoped the works will commence in late November following the 2017 Royal Hobart Show.

Caption: From left, Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania chief executive officer Scott Gadd, Equestrian Australia’s 2017 Horse of the Year Daisy, Speaker of the House of Assembly and Liberal Member for Denison Elise Archer and Equestrian competitor Tania Hay.