Horse racing needs Government bailout to save industry from financial turmoil

One of New Zealand's leading horse trainers is demanding the Government step in and bail out the racing industry.

Michael Pitman fears the future may not be financially viable for his fellow trainers and owners, and his cry for help may soon be answered. 

Pittman has won three New Zealand premierships for group one races, but he's fearful for the future of the sport he loves.

"We must get a [Government] bailout - we have to get a bailout," Pitman told Newshub. 

The Government assistance is needed because no racing means no money is being put back into the sport. 

Pitman told Newshub the dire situation is a desperate one. 

"[We need] somewhere between NZ$70million and 80million."

Newshub approached racing minister Winston Peters on Sunday, and he acknowledged the challenging time the industry's in. 

He said options for support are being developed but no announcement will be made until that process is complete.

Pitman said that it's time for the government to pay back the racing industry. 

"Racing in New Zealand has put billions into the Government coffers, let's be realistic about that," he said.