Horse racing jurisdictions are moving to help stakeholders and horse owners as wildfires continue to grip the east coast of Australia.
Racing Victoria said that relief centers have been set up in three areas in the state to provide assistance to those affected by fires, while Racing NSW has announced a one-off emergency funding relief package for owners, trainers and jockeys.
The funding relief is a response to the losses following the abandonment of race meetings and other damage caused by the bushfires.
Financial support will also be provided to participants directly impacted by the bushfires.
“There has been a substantial interruption to horses’ programs as well as personal and business disruption and losses suffered by participants as a consequence of the bushfires,” said Racing NSW’s Chief Executive Peter V’landys.
Racing NSW has been contacting participants directly and is assisting with immediate needs.
“In addition to the lack of racing opportunities, there has been significant loss suffered by participants through associated costs,” V’landys said.
“Racing NSW is conscious of the extra financial burden this causes and will assist with funding to replace or replenish supplies and equipment.”
The veterinary department of Racing Victoria (RV) has created a downloadable fact sheet “Management of horses affected by bushfires“.
RV is working with Country Racing Victoria (CRV) and country clubs, as well as the metropolitan clubs and industry associations, to offer support and assistance to raceday staff, trainers, jockeys, breeders and equine aftercare providers.
“We are all here to help and will continue to be available for as long as needed, for clubs, all horses (not just thoroughbreds) and people affected by the fires,” RV said in a statement.
RV said it was constantly reviewing, amending and rescheduling race meetings in areas affected by heat and/or smoke. “When this happens, we will provide relief and compensation to participants affected as per RV’s compensation policy. Race clubs impacted via abandoned meetings will also receive compensation.”
Initiatives by the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry, including RV, the metropolitan clubs and CRV, equine welfare support, fundraising activities and practical support for people and participants affected by the bushfires.
A donation was being made to the Bendigo Bank Community Fund, which is among several supporting those affected by the bushfires.
- Community Enterprise Foundation (Bendigo Bank)
- Country Fire Authority
- Salvation Army
- Australian Red Cross
“This support will continue as required, for as long as it is needed across the various communities affected.”