The Standardbred Association Queensland Inc (SAQ) is excited to announce that the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) will be a major sponsor for the 2018 Standardbred State Hacking and Harness Championship – as well as continuing its sole sponsorship of the Adoption Classes during the two day program of events.

The 12th Annual Standardbred State Hacking and Harness Championship will be held at the Gatton Showgrounds in August and will include the Final of SAQ’s signature event – the 2018 Track to Hack Series, proudly sponsored by Racing Queensland and Hygain.

SAQ President Owanna Francisca said this was a wonderful outcome and thanked both QRIC and Minister Stirling Hinchliffe for their ongoing support of SAQ. “Last year, QRIC generously supported the Adoption Classes at our State Championships. This year, not only will they be doing that again, but they will also be one of our Major Sponsors. This generous support will help make this year’s State Championships the best ever – and it will also assist SAQ in retraining and re-homing even more retired Standardbreds from the racing track,” said Owanna.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, SAQ established its Re-homing and Adoption program in 2002 and re-homes between 80 and 120 Standardbreds each year, celebrating the re-homing of its 1000th standardbred this past February.

QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said QRIC was proud to support volunteer organisations such as SAQ – who play a significant role in re-homing Standardbreds after their racing career. “The work that SAQ has done over the last 16 years to retrain and re-home 1017 Standardbreds from the racing track is an exceptional outcome and our support for SAQ this year is a perfect opportunity to again highlight QRIC’s equine welfare program and our animal welfare priorities,” Ross said.

“QRIC supports events that promote life after racing for our equine athletes – and through sponsorship of events such as the SAQ State Championships – we hope to stimulate demand for these horses to move into alternative careers and lifestyles.”

Readers may also be interested in the PBR Global Team.