A new authority, EquestriMalta, is being set up to regulate horse racing in Malta, safeguard horses’ welfare and raise standards to attract international events.

Details of the new organisation were given in parliament on Wednesday by Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Clifton Grima, who moved the Bill establishing the entity.

This authority, he said, would also be responsible for the calendar of races, disciplinary action and safety measures.  

Other functions will be to establish admission prices for racing events in order to prevent any price hikes from the operator of the Marsa racing track.

The authority will also maintain an online register of approved meetings, details on horses, drivers, veterinarians, and other information that the Authority deems necessary.

The authority will establish prize limits, issue licences and permits, appoint judges and stewards, enforce doping regulations and collaborate with foreign equestrian entities.

Opposition MP Robert Cutajar pointed out that when drafting this Bill the government had not consulted representatives from related sports such as polo and the Malta Equestrian Federation. The Opposition would not back this Bill unless further consultations would take place.

While welcoming a clause in the Bill which bans any MP from sitting on the board of this new authority, in line with recommendations from the Standards Commissioner and the Council of Europe, he proposed adding a ban on anybody involved in sports betting.

The MP also questioned the future of the Malta Racing Club which has a history stretching over 150 years.




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