Jockeys and horses will be safer at the St Arnaud Cup on Saturday after a joint funding package of more than $67,000 for new plastic running rails at the St Arnaud Racecourse.
The state government contributed more than $33,000 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards the project, while Racing Victoria matched the government’s contribution dollar for dollar.
The lightweight plastic running rails are developed in Victoria and are designed to improve jockey and horse safety by reducing the impact of rail contacts or collisions.
The plastic running rails, which rotate out of the way upon contact, were installed at the club last week.
The St Arnaud Turf Club will also benefit from having a new horse ambulance which will service racing clubs in the Wimmera region, including Donald, Nhill and Wycheproof.
The state government contributed $10,700 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund to the Wimmera horse ambulance, with Racing Victoria again matching the contribution.
St Arnaud Turf Club Chairman David Russ said the club was grateful to the state government and Racing Victoria for their support of the important safety initiative.
“We encourage everyone across the Wimmera region to come to St Arnaud for a great day of racing on St Arnaud Cup Day, made all the safer by the track’s new plastic running rails,” he said.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said the new rails were vital to maintain the high safety standards expected by the racing industry.
“The continued roll-out of plastic rails at Victorian racing and training venues is vital,” he said.
“We’re proud to support this great initiative because it improves the safety of both jockeys and horses on the racetrack.”
Since 2014, the state government has provided almost $60,000 to support four vital infrastructure projects at St Arnaud Racecourse.
The racing industry in the Wimmera region generates more than $37 million.
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