HOURS of manual labour dragging around irrigation pipes to water the Gunnedah Riverside Racecourse can now be put to better use with the club securing significant funding to make the system automated.
Gunnedah Jockey Club applied for a grant through the NSW government's Crown Reserves Improvement Fund last year, and was today announced as the successful recipient of $112,740.
Club secretary manager Lyn Tongue said it was "unbelievable news" and she was "ecstatic".
"It's a long time since that application went in and I'm overwhelmed, that's wonderful news and our club will be very grateful," she said.
"The club's in desperate need of doing some repairs and maintenance and the new watering system will be a wonderful addition to keeping the track in shipshape order."
Gunnedah Jockey Club was just one of the recipients of more than $1 million in funding for improvements to Crown land reserves and community facilities within the Tamworth electorate announced by Kevin Anderson MP today.
Gunnedah PCYC is also set to benefit from $28,244 to upgrade and repair the male and female amenities and the Gunnedah RSL Club Hall will soon have a brand new access ramp and handrail at their main entrance thanks to $8,745 from the fund.
The Crown reserve adjacent to Bushes Lane, Gunnedah, will also get a revamp with $6,199 to replace damaged gates and restore access management.
With recent rainfall, Gunnedah Jockey Club's track is in fantastic order, and more funds will mean the club can continue to improve its sought after track.
"At the moment our irrigation is done manually with irrigation pods, automatic irrigation installation would mean you just set it and it would automatically come on and automatically turn off," Ms Tongue continued.
"So the manual work required to put the irrigation pipes out, bring them in and change the positioning of them can be put to better use doing other things."
The Gunnedah track is currently one of two tracks in the Hunter and North West that have been earmarked for transferred meetings with just 24 hours notice, with the other being Scone.
"We picked up a transferred Tamworth meeting on December 15, Armidale meetings were transferred here last year, we've had Moree meetings," Ms Tongue said.
The club has already gone to extensive efforts to drought-proof the facility with a back-up water tank installed in case the bore ever runs dry and have applied for other grants to continue to make improvements.