Britain's Horserace Betting Levy Board has approved a £400,000 interest-free loan toward the construction of a new owners and trainers' facility and dining room which can be used as an entertainment suite at Pontefract Racecourse. The board also re-appointed Kirsten Rausing for a second three-year term as a director of the National Stud in Newmarket.Pontefract has experienced a substantial growth in the number of racegoers since improvements in the 1990s were made to the main grandstand and the new Dalby Stand was constructed. Due to this attendance increase, the dining room in the main grandstand is fully booked weeks in advance of most race meetings, which has led to the problem of there being no space for owners and trainers of runners on the day. The bar area in the Club dining room is often overcrowded and owners and trainers have to use the facilities in the old wooden Owners and Trainers' Bar.The new two-storey Park Suite, costing a total of just under £600,000, is therefore being constructed to give owners and trainers a dedicated modern bar and add dining and kitchen space, along with Tote betting facilities. It will provide 116 extra dining places and will have direct access to the main grandstand. Balconies on two sides will give views of the paddock and racetrack.It will be built using brick cladding and slate, in keeping with the style of the main grandstand, and on the site of the current inadequate Club Tote and Owners and Trainers' facility, which is situated to the rear of the stand and immediately adjacent to the horsewalk.Meanwhile, the Levy Board re-appointed Kirsten Rausing for a second three-year term as a director of the National Stud in Newmarket.The owner and manager of Lanwades and St Simon Studs, Newmarket, was first appointed to the National Stud Board on August 1, 1998. Her expertise and wise counsel have greatly benefited the National Stud since
then.The National Stud has been the responsibility of a board of directors appointed by the HBLB since 1986. The chairman is Peter Player and the other directors are John Dunlop, James Wigan, Geoff Howard-Spink and the Hon. Peter Stanley.The National Stud, which stands on 500 acres at Newmarket, has capacity for up to 200 mares and a maximum of eight stallions who will include Mutamam, Golden Snake, Silver Patriarch, Bahamian Bounty and Handsome Ridge for the 2002 season.The stud offers a comprehensive range of services to the breeder, including stallions at stud, seasonal and permanent boarding, sales preparation and quarantine for export. In addition, the stud provides a range of industry services, breeders' clubs, training courses, annual fair and stallion parades.The National Stud is also a showcase for the British breeding industry, welcoming visiting delegations from overseas, television crews and journalists, equine and agricultural college groups, plus thousands of visitors who join guided tours each spring and summer.