A decision has been made to close the Ashburton Training Centre outside of Pietermaritzburg and trainers currently located there will move to Summerveld shortly.
This emerged after a Gold Circle Board meeting on Monday where the decision was apparently taken due to operational costs.
Established in 1984, the Ashburton Training Centre can house 427 horses in barn-style stables and has accommodation for resident grooms. The training facilities consist of a 2 100m oval grass track with banked turns, a 1 800m light sand track, a 500m heavy sand track and a 350m sand trotting ring.
According to reliable sources, there are 700 empty stables at Summerveld and only about 220 horses at Ashburton.
A well-established former KZN champion trainer said in a communication that he felt that the move was the right one for horse racing in the region and that cognisance had to be taken of the fact that over the years there had been an increase in wildlife around the centre, the N3 freeway with related construction works presented major traffic issues, and the KZN Capital City was deteriorating.
Gold Circle has not responded to a request for comment.