EQUINE WELFARE

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EQUINE WELFARE

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) considers equine health and wellbeing a top priority at Flemington Racecourse.

Hundreds of people dedicate their time to ensuring the best possible care for thoroughbreds during training and race day activities.

Measures have been implemented at Flemington to ensure the health and safety of our equine athletes during training, racing and recovery at Australia’s premier racecourse.

These measures include an industry policy to ensure raceday track surfaces are prepared to a Good 4 standard at the start of every race meeting, a new synthetic training surface which provides greater cushion and comfort for training, the installation of plastic running rails, an expanded Mounting Yard with a cushioned walking surface, and breathable cotton presentation rugs. For the first time, the VRC will also be providing ice boots after every race for trainers to aid the recovery of their equine athletes.

Hot weather initiatives put into place at Flemington include demister fans in the horse stalls, air conditioned boxes in the veterinary block, and VRC employees in place to assist with hosing horses with cold water in the Mounting Yard to cool down immediately after a race.

Furthermore, we have seen increased scrutiny of horses prior to racing at Flemington. With access to Racing Victoria’s new state-of-the-art standing CT scanner at Werribee international quarantine centre along with strengthened pre-race veterinary protocol, we aim to ensure that every horse who performs at Flemington is in top condition.

In October 2019, the Club announced the VRC Equine Wellbeing Fund which will enable the acceleration of more of the VRC planned initiatives that support the wellbeing of racehorses across all stages of their lives.

Kick-started with a contribution of more than $1 million, 10% of all public ticket sales for this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, and 5% of VRC annual membership fees will be redirected to the VRC Equine Wellbeing Fund for the care of racehorses.

Contributions to the new fund will be ongoing which will enable the Club to continue to provide a world-class experience for all equine athletes and ensure that the VRC is recognised globally as one of the leading race clubs in this regard.

The Club has appointed a Horse Wellbeing Officer to oversee its fast-tracked horse wellbeing initiatives and to work with the industry and all its stakeholders to ensure that this substantial financial contribution will be used to address the need for improved equine welfare practices.

The Off the Track program by Racing Victoria aims to facilitate the placement of retired thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by promoting the network of Racing Victoria Acknowledged Retrainers across the state, driving demand for the breed as performance and pleasure horses and educating the community about the various life after racing options, versatility of use, and the appropriate care and retraining of the thoroughbred.

 

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