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Racing world supports bushfire relief efforts

Horses in smoke. Labelled for reuse.



By Equestrian Life

Over the past few weeks, many organisations have stepped up to provide support and relief to those affected by the fires burning across Australia — including a large number from the racing world.

Below are some of the initiatives major racing organisations have set up to help relief efforts. Some of these initiatives provide racegoers with the opportunity to get involved at various race meetings over the coming month, so be sure to read on and find out how you can get involved…

Racing Victoria

Racing Victoria have provided a support line for those who need assistance regarding equine welfare (thoroughbred or otherwise), and have also coordinated a list of properties that are able to provide refuge for displaced horses. Further details regarding both of these initiatives can be found here.

RV personnel have been on the ground at some relief centres to assist with managing the welfare of evacuated horses.

RV has also released a fact sheet on looking after horses post-fire, and this can be found here.

RV is also donating to the Bendigo Bank Community Fund (see section on VRC below).

Victoria Racing Club

The VRC has pledged a financial contribution, alongside other metropolitan racing clubs, to the Bendigo Bank Community Fund. The total amount donated will be matched by Racing Victoria (RV).

The VRC are working on a number of other initiatives.

•    Entrance proceeds from Chester Manifold Stakes Day on Saturday 11th January and January Twilight Race Day on Saturday 18th January will go to the VIC Bushfire Disaster Appeal.
•    Firefighters and their families will receive free entry to Flemington Racecourse on both Chester Manifold Stakes Day and January Twilight Race Day. Please present ID at the gate.
•    Race names on January Twilight Race Day will honour and recognise the incredible work of firefighters, emergency services workers and volunteers who have sought to protect and provide for those affected by bushfire.
•    On Chester Manifold Stakes Day and January Twilight Race Day donations can be made to The Salvation Army (cash tins and via EFTPOS) in The Club Stand Lobby and the foyer of Saintly Place.
•    On Chester Manifold Stakes Day and January Twilight Race Day Australian Trainers Association, Ascot Saddlery and Southern Cross Feeds will have pop-up stores on course where racegoers can purchase supplies that will then be donated to the equine community in fire affected areas.
•    Donations of horse equipment of all sizes, such as head collars, leads and rugs, in good working condition can be dropped off at VRC Head Office during business hours

Read more.

Melbourne Racing Club

The Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) will contribute Australia Day weekend races’ admission revenue and MRC Foundation donations to bushfire relief efforts to support those impacted by the bushfires ravaging Victoria and more broadly across Australia.  

The Club will donate all gate admissions in full from the race meetings at Ladbrokes Mornington Race Day (Friday 24 January) and Australia Day Weekend Races at Caulfield (Saturday 25 January) to the Bendigo Bank Community Fund.

MRC has also immediately donated to the Bendigo Bank Community Fund as part of Racing Victoria’s coordinated response, with Emergency Management Victoria to provide the funds directly to impacted communities. 

Read more.

Racing NSW

Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club jointly announced they would be distributing $500,000 to New South Wales thoroughbred racing industry participants who have been directly impacted.

Additional initiatives to raise further funds include:

Randwick on Saturday, January 25 will be dedicated to raising funds "Racing for the Bushfire Appeal". Free entry will be offered to all Rural Fire Service and other volunteers helping with the fires. Race naming rights will be sold off with all funds raised supporting the cause. Signed memorabilia from the day – such as jockey silks and saddlecloths will be auctioned off to raise further funds. Brewery company Lion on Tuesday morning announced a $20,000 donation for the Racing for the Bushfire Appeal fund. Australian Turf Club Foundation will donate $10,000, Racing NSW will donate $10,000 and donation collection buckets will be at ALL Sydney racedays for the remainder of January.

The latest campaign is on top of funds already raised by ATC for those affected by the bushfires and the Rural Fire Service at raceday throughout December last year.

Read more.

Thoroughbred Racing South Australia

Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) will launch a Bushfire Appeal Initiative on January 22 at Oakbank Racing Club, with key fundraising activities planned until February 22 at Kangaroo Island (KI Cup Day), and more to follow.

TRSA will donate $500 for each win by a horse carrying the rider wearing Bushfire Appeal branded silks at South Australian race meetings during this period. This activity will be further supported by an online auction, as well as support of Clubs in fire-affected regions and their own fundraising initiatives.

Full details can be found here.

Magic Millions

The Magic Millions festival, which is now winding up on the Gold Coast, saw vendors donate $500 per horse sold in Book 1 of the sale (more than 800 horses). This brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Magic Millions Polo, which was also part of the carnival, saw further donations made. International polo star Nacho Figueras announced that he and his fellow Magic Millions ambassadors would donate $50k. That contribution was also matched by Magic Millions’ biggest sponsor, The Star Gold Coast.

The Magic Millions, with BetEasy and Racing.com, also pledged to donate an amount equal to 10 per cent of the price of the top lot from the sales.

Read more.

Racing Queensland

Racing Queensland has announced it will donate $15,000 to the Bush Fire Appeal.

Read more.

National Jockeys Trust

The National Jockeys Trust has announced that all funds raised from the annual NJT T20 cricket match on January 20 will be directed to animal welfare organisations in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, to assist in rescuing and treating injured wildlife.

In addition, many individual jockeys have pledged their support in other ways, with Group 1-winning riders Tommy Berry and Damian Lane donating $250 for every winner they rode for the month of January. Others have since offered their own pledges.

Read more.

Cranbourne Turf Club & Trios Sports Club

Cranbourne's racing community will make a $50,000 donation to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund after a series of fundraising efforts.

The Cranbourne Turf Club offered six sponsorship packages for the 2019/20 Mercedes-Benz Mornington Night Racing Season for auction, netting a total of $20,800.

Trios Sports Club, which is jointly owned by the Turf Club, the Cranbourne Greyhound Racing Club and the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club, matched that amount with separate donations from the harness racing and greyhound racing clubs taking the total amount raised to $50,000.

Read more.

Harness Racing Victoria

Harness Racing Victoria have donated $10,000 to the Victorian Farmers Federation Disaster Relief efforts to support farmers affected by the bushfires.

Read more.

Harness Racing NSW

Harness Racing NSW and Club Menangle will donate $200 for every race winner in January to either WIRES (all odd numbered winners) or the Red Cross (all even numbered winners).

More here.

There are many, many other people and organisations in the racing industry and further afield doing all they can to help those affected by the fires. If you have a great story of how someone is lending a helping hand, email info@eqlife.com.au






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