Italian racing industry in ‘serious trouble’; protest scheduled

by | 01.09.2012 | 8:45am

Jockeys, trainers and breeders in Italy are planning a protest in Rome later this week in an effort to secure more money for the country's near-defunct Thoroughbred racing industry.  Severe cuts in purses and funding for race courses have prompted strikes across Italy.  No races have taken place so far this year, reports The Guardian:

“One Italian betting pundit has described racing in Italy as being “effectively bankrupt” but he warned that the sport cannot expect the recently appointed agriculture minister, Mario Catania, to accede to demands for increased state funding, even though the sport's backers say it supports 50,000 families nationally.”

“Dr Carlo Zuccoli, an Italian journalist and former consultant to the European Pari-Mutuel Association, blames over-spending and a lack of financial control for the dramatic cuts. “Unire, which is the Italian equivalent of something like the British Horseracing Authority, hasn't produced a balance sheet for about 10 years and nobody has challenged that,” he said.”

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