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The growing number of female jockeys in Queensland has been highlighted with plans for a six-figure upgrade of the women’s jockeys’ rooms at the Townsville track.
In all $365,000 will be spent on the upgrade after the federal government confirmed Townsville would receive more than $180,000 courtesy of the Building Better Regions Fund.
The remainder will be matched by Racing Queensland.
At most Queensland country meetings more than half the riders are women but they are often housed in makeshift accommodation.
More than 50 per cent of apprentices in Queensland are women.
Townsville is a major TAB week day club and the current cramped quarters will be upgraded to cater for 15 jockeys.
The Townsville track was inundated by floods earlier this year and is currently undergoing remediation work to allow a return to racing.
“The provision of appropriate female jockey amenities at Cluden Park has been long overdue and this week’s announcement brings Townsville into line with modern expectations,” RQ deputy chair Sharon Dawson said.
“Women make up the majority of our incoming apprentices and our facilities around Queensland have not catered for the growing number of female riders.”
TTC Chairman Mal Petrofski said the club had been lobbying for improved female facilities for a number of years and he was thrilled with the announcement.
“Upgrading our female jockey rooms has been a strategic priority for some time now and we’re glad that we will now be able to deliver it,” Petrofski said.