Bunbury will host a heat of Australia's richest harness racing event, the Inter Dominion championship, for the next two years thanks to a deal secured by the Liberal National Government.
The State Government is sponsoring the prestigious races through Tourism Western Australia's Regional Events Program, made possible by Royalties for Regions.
Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett said Bunbury Trotting Club last year became the first provincial club to host an Inter Dominion heat in the event's 80-year history. The two other heats and grand final were held at Perth's Gloucester Park.
"The tourism sector in Perth and Bunbury enjoyed a $2.28 million boost as a result of last year's event, predominantly from interstate visitors," Mr Barnett said.
"The overall economic contribution to the WA economy was valued at $9.5 million. These are the type of diverse events that we want to continue to attract to Western Australia."
Racing and Gaming Minister Brendon Grylls said the South-West was an integral racing region, accounting for more than 10 per cent of WA industry participants and nearly 20 per cent of volunteers.
"In order to continue to grow racing in the South-West, it is vital we continue to bring major events such as the Inter Dominion to the region," Mr Grylls said.
"The Inter Dominion is the equivalent of the Melbourne Cup for standard bred horses and the $1.1 million grand final prize purse makes it the richest horse race in the State this year."
The Minister encouraged trotting fans in the South-West to embrace the event and ensure it was a historical night for the Bunbury Trotting Club.
"It is rare that an internationally renowned sporting event comes to a regional centre, so I want to make sure the people of the South-West make it count," Mr Grylls said.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said positioning regional Western Australia as a recognised events destination was vital.
"Events like the Inter Dominion championship strengthen local tourism-related businesses and contribute to the vibrancy of regional communities," Mr Redman said.
"Tourism has a strong influence on regional development and brings significant social and economic benefits to the regions. Royalties for Regions investment into the Regional Events Program is vital to see this growth continue."
The heat at Bunbury Trotting Club will be held on Tuesday November 29
Heats at Gloucester Park will be held on November 25 and December 2, with the grand final on December 9
The Inter Dominion championship is the most prestigious harness pacing race series in Australasia and is one of seven major events internationally
Western Australia was the birthplace of the Inter Dominion with the first series being held at Gloucester Park in 1936
Past winners of this prestigious race include Village Kid, Our Sir Vancelot and Im Themightyquinn
Premier and Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5000
Racing and Gaming Minister's office - 6552 6100
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700