Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today marked National Jockeys Trust Raceday with the unveiling of a major safety upgrade at Caulfield Racecourse.
The upgrade, costing more than $200,000, features new fencing and gates which will improve safety for horses and riders as well as patrons.
The Andrews Labor Government contributed half of the cost of the project, courtesy of its Victorian Racing Industry Fund, with Racing Victoria providing a similar amount.
The project involved the installation of 2500 metres of fencing around the course and mounting yard and 15 barrier mesh gates.
The barrier mesh gates are essential for evacuation and safety purposes and will allow local residents to easily access the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve.
Mr Pakula unveiled the safety upgrade while attending the National Jockeys Trust Raceday luncheon, which is the trust’s major fund-raising activity in Victoria.
The National Jockeys Trust provides financial assistance for jockeys, apprentice jockeys, and their families when faced with serious injury, illness or even death. Since 2004, the trust has helped more than 270 jockeys, including 83 in Victoria, and their families to overcome financial hardship.
Last year, the Labor Government provided $200,000 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund to support the trust and to upgrade the Memorial to Fallen Jockeys at Caulfield Racecourse.
The safety of riders and horses is a priority for thoroughbred racing in Victoria, which generates nearly $2.1 billion annually for the Victorian economy and provides the equivalent of 19,600 full-time jobs.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“Jockeys take an enormous risk every time they climb into the saddle so it is great that Caulfield now has these additional safety measures in place.”
“The National Jockeys Trust provides vital support to hundreds of jockeys by helping them to pursue alternate career opportunities, both within and outside the racing industry.”
Quotes attributable to Racing Victoria CEO Bernard Saundry
“We welcome the Government’s generous support in helping to fund the safety upgrade at Caulfield which was unveiled as part of the National Jockeys Trust Raceday.”
“Safety and welfare is of paramount importance to Racing Victoria and we are committed to improving safety for jockeys and horses at racecourses around the state.”