The Murray Regional Equestrian Centre (MREC) is set to finally add an international standard cross-country course to their assets, after receiving $257,900 worth of funding through a Royalties for Regions grant.
It is expected the new course would increase the number of events, membership, equestrian education, training and qualifications offered at the centre, as well as bringing the opportunity for additional accommodation and tourism opportunities within the region.
Shire president Maree Reid welcomed the announcement and said the new course would bring economical growth both to the racing and non-racing equine industry.
“Growth in the non-racing equine industry complements Peel’s strong racing sector, and existing and more intensive agricultural activities,” she said.
“This in turn stimulates the growth of compatible local and regional service enterprises including veterinary clinics, accommodation and stock feed supplies.”
Peel Development Commission (PDC) chairman Paul Fitzpatrick said the project was the second part of a staged development of the centre, located in Coolup.
“It is envisaged MREC will become a contemporary national standard equestrian centre catering for all equestrian disciplines across Peel, Perth and South West and will serve as a catalyst for additional accommodation and tourism opportunities,” he said.
Member for Murray-Wellington Murray Cowper said it was an exciting milestone for the upgrade project.
“We are looking forward to a future of world-class events for the centre with a greatly expanded role for the Murray Equestrian Association,” he said.
“The new course will also provide a viable new training base for competitive riding, horse-craft, animal husbandry and other skills as the sport continues to increase in popularity.”
The centre’s catchment area, the Peel region and its surroundings, accounts for 40 per cent of all non-racing horses in Western Australia.
The non-racing equine industry accounts for $221 million of direct expenditure, $229 million gross value, and supports more than 1,860 jobs.