‘Ashburton Closure On Cards For Years’ – Gold Circle

Trainers and grooms to gain assistance with move

The Sporting Post reported on Tuesday that the Ashburton Training Centre outside of Pietermaritzburg would be closing shortly.

This has now been confirmed by the KZN racing operator who advise that at a Gold Circle Board meeting held on Monday, 6 February 2023, it was decided to mothball the Ashburton Training Centre and relocate the five resident trainers and their horses to Summerveld.

Ashburton – ‘mothballed’ but becomes part of history (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The decision was taken in light of the difficult trading environment over the past six months.

The mothballing of Ashburton would cut operational costs and reduce the financial burden on the company. The move is expected to be completed by the end of April.

Summerveld has about 800 empty stables and Ashburton currently houses around 196 horses.

The closing of Ashburton has been on the cards for a number of years as the number of trainers housed at the centre has reduced from twelve to five.

Gold Circle has come to an arrangement with the trainers and grooms to assist in the costs of relocating to Summerveld.

Former KZN Champion trainer, Duncan Howells, said it was sad that the centre had to close but felt that it was the correct decision for the betterment of KwaZulu-Natal racing in the light of current circumstances.

Ashburton was originally built by the Pietermaritzburg Turf Club as an alternative to Summerveld before the amalgamation of the three racing clubs, namely the Pietermaritzburg Turf Club, the Durban Turf Club and the Clairwood Turf Club into Gold Circle.

  • Media release by Gold Circle on Wednesday 8 February 2023.

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