The Toowoomba Region could soon be home to an Equine Centre of Excellence thanks to a grant from Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC).
At its Ordinary Meeting of Council on 17 May, Council approved a grant to the Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland (RASQ) for $86,580 to support the completion of the ‘Toowoomba Equine Centre of Excellence Development Plan’.
In bringing the item to Council, Mayor Paul Antonio said this proposal had the potential to deliver significant financial and social benefits to the Toowoomba Region.
“The RASQ was formed in 1860 as the first Show Society in Queensland. As such, our Region has always had a strong equine community which contributes substantially to our economy,” Mayor Antonio said.
“The Toowoomba Showgrounds is the largest and most frequently used equestrian venue in the state. More than 20 community groups with a membership base of more than 2000 are permanently based on the grounds while the Show Society has more than 1000 members and 300 volunteers.
“An Equine Centre of Excellence would take our equine industry to another level and would attract a significant number of local, state, national and international equestrian events to the Toowoomba Region.
“This would have major flow-on effects with Equestrian Queensland having valued every major equestrian event to contribute in excess of $250,000 of economic benefit to the Region.
“A facility of this nature would also put us in good stead to host numerous Olympic and Paralympic Equestrian teams in the lead up to the 2032 Games, as well as the possibility of hosting actual Olympic Events if Brisbane were unable to do so.
“The local community has many young equestrian athletes, as well as equestrian teams competing at an interschool level and the Equestrian Centre of Excellence would open tremendous pathways for these young athletes.”