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2010 Last Season For Vic Jumps Racing

Friday, 18th December 2009

Racing Victoria announced 2010 will be the last season of jumps racing in that state. In its place, a program of high-weight races will be scheduled for the 2011 season “to assist with the transition for jockeys, trainers & horses”. RV has also committed $1 million to a Transition & Marketing Fund “to ensure the famous Warrnambool May Carnival maintains its position as one of Australia’s most popular & successful regional racing events”. Following a series of reviews in 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2005 & 2008, RV undertook an internal review of the 2009 season “which examined the current state of jumps racing, a 5-year trend analysis of key data & took into consideration submissions from various parties including the Australian Jumps Racing Association & RSPCA. RV chairman Michael Duffy noted:  “This has been an extremely tough decision for the Board, which is duty bound to always act in the best interests of the long term sustainability of Victorian thoroughbred racing & to protect the industry’s image & reputation within the broader community. After careful consideration, it is the RV Board’s view that there is an inevitabilityabout the long-term future of jumps racing & consequently, it is in the interests of all to provide some certainty & an appropriate transition to a Victorian racing industry without jumps racing.” Duffy added: “The Board could not allow jumps racing to wither on the vine or worse still, become the victim of an immediate knee-jerk ban at some future point in time. Despite the implementation of all of the safety recommendations of the Jones Report conducted in 2008, the incidence of falls & fatalities has continued to increase.  The recommendations of 6 previous reviews had been implemented without any sustained reduction in incident rates. Over coming months, RV will be working closely with the participants & clubs impacted by the decision to ensure an effective & smooth transition. The safety of riders & horses in all forms of racing is of paramount importance & we will continue to do whatever is reasonably practicable to make jumps racing less hazardous during its final year in 2010.” (Nov 27)

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