Mildura Harness Racing Club has experienced a 60 percent increase in membership over the past 12 months.

Club President Alan Lister said membership was now over the 100 mark and the year had seen a number of changes with a number of new Committee people being elected at the previous AGM.

He said on the track the Club has seen the race fields holding up extremely well with local trainers increasing in number and the Sunraysia horse population growing.

“Our new secretary Manager Tim Scala joined us late last year has brought many new ideas and initiatives.”

(So far in the 2017-18 financial year Mr Scala is now the Chief Executive officer and the Club set a record when it staged its first ever 12 race card on August 11 this year)

Mr Scala reported that Liquor Commission approval had just recently been received extending the hours of the liquor licence at the Ray Hepworth Centre to 1am at weekends which would assist with hiring out the facility.

The creation of a new outdoor area would allow for some tables and chairs to be used outdoors during warmer months.

The treasurers report showed that expenditure over the 12 months had been a little over the projected budget and reserves had been depleted by around $24,000.

It was explained that in a two months transition from former secretary Manager Mark kemp and Mr Scala there was an eight week period when the club paid “two full time wages”.

There was long service leave entitlement and a $36,000 payout at Mr Kemp’s departure, along with the purchase of novelty sulkies for promotional purposes and a build up of around $40,000 in debts outstanding at the end of the financial year.

But the Club has substantial funds in reserve and plans to increase the amount held in reserve by another $100,000 in future years.

In the Club elections local owner and trainer Ian Campbell was elected to the Committee, replacing long time member of 40 years Bill Lister.

Re-elected to new terms were Alan Lister, Andrew Stenhouse, Lachlan Prothero and Geoff Kay.