LIBERAL Senator for Western Sydney, Marise Payne, visited Clarendon on Monday (October 28) to view the completion of a horse stables upgrade at Hawkesbury Showground.
The stables capacity was increased from 51 stables to 77 using a $200,000 Community Sport Infrastructure grant from the Federal Government.
President of the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association, Ross Matheson, said the committee had been planning to upgrade the stables for around 10 years, and the Government funding allowed them to build a far superior facility that would attract more horse events to the Hawkesbury.
"We're very appreciative of the grant," Mr Matheson said.
"As with other projects at the Showground, we always endeavour to use local suppliers and contractors so the money we spend goes back into our local community.
"We had seven different local companies contributing from start to finish on the job."
He said he believed the stables were "the most outstanding stables built at any agricultural showground in recent years in Australia".
They incorporate state-of-the-art features including maximum safety with no sharp edges for the horses, and minimum fire risk with no timber, plywood or rubber in the building.
"The stables have huge divider panels that enable years of major upkeep in the future, daily maintenance of them is made easier by the construction, and they also have excellent air flow and visibility for the horses so the horses feel more at ease," Mr Matheson said.
The stables were completed around a fortnight ago. They were used by attendees at major equestrian event Horse of the Year that was held at the showground recently.
Mr Matheson said they would prove essential at the upcoming Hawkesbury Show on May 1 to 3, 2020.
"It's a decent increase in capacity, and it also lifts our standard of stables," Mr Matheson said.
"It will enable us through the year to attract bigger-earning, more prestigious equestrian events as well. We've already had a few enquiries."