Allan Murnane, managing director of Australian Quarter Horse Racing Development Pty Ltd, at Imbil’s Bollier Park yesterday.
Allan Murnane, managing director of Australian Quarter Horse Racing Development Pty Ltd, at Imbil’s Bollier Park yesterday. Craig Warhurst

Calls for quarter horse racing at Bollier Park

QUARTER horse racing at Bollier Park, near Imbil, will be the "Big Bash" of horse racing and will bring a new era of activity and prosperity to the Gympie region, its advocates say.

Representatives of Australian Quarter Horse Racing Development Pty Ltd met with Gympie Regional Council yesterday to explain what their licence and development lease to establish a $60 million facility in the Valley could mean to the region.

About 150 jobs will be created during construction - which will favour local residents and businesses - and another 140 jobs will run the facility, which will be racing in two years.

Quarter horse racing is a new industry for Australia. AQHRD project manager John Cotter says quarter horses are the fastest in the world with speeds up to 82kmh. A straight race track allows viewing from both sides.

The sport is also hugely lucrative and popular with Asian punters, and the Mary Valley is in the right time zone to beam night racing into Asia live.

"Quarter horse racing is a very popular industry in the US, with the American Quarter Horse Association being over 70 years old with the largest registered breed in the world," Mr Cotter said.

Key features of the world-class development include a seven-day-a-week quarter horse training and stabling facility, international standard quarter horse racing track, centre of excellence, world-class multi-function venue and seven-day-a-week gaming venue.

"This is not just about racing, it's about establishing a new industry in Queensland that will put Queensland and the Mary Valley on the international stage," Member for Gympie David Gibson said from Houston yesterday.

Mr Gibson and Mayor Ron Dyne both travelled to the United States to be present for Premier Campbell Newman's announcement and to see the US quarter horse industry first hand.

"We both want to make sure the Gympie region is prepared to take advantage of all the new economic spin-offs that will come from bringing the quarter horse industry to the Mary Valley."