Horse and jockey safety will be improved at the Avoca racecourse thanks to a $87,000 funding boost for new mechanical mobile starting gates.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today visited the Avoca Shire Turf Club to see the new 11-stall starting gates.
The Andrews Labor Government is providing $43,000 towards the gates though the Victorian Racing Industry Fund.
The new, safer gates have an electric starting system, full padding on gate divisions and platforms, and overhead pull-up bars for riders – reducing the risk of injury to horses, riders and barrier attendants.
Trainers will also benefit from the new gates at Avoca, with the club now able to run industry trials and jump outs. The starting gates aid in the education and preparation of horses for race days and the new equipment is expected to be in use by the end of this month.
The Club has been operating for 160 years and holds two meetings a year on Caulfield Cup day and Anzac Day.
Racing Victoria is contributing more than $30,000 towards the starting gates, with the club providing the remaining $13,050.
Since 2014, the Government has provided almost $52,000 to promote thoroughbred racing at Avoca by supporting five race meetings as part of its Raceday Attraction Program.
The racing industry in the Central Highlands region generates more than $96 million every year for the Victorian economy and helps sustain over 950 full-time equivalent jobs in the region.
Quote attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“The Andrews Labor Government is investing in regional racing clubs so they can upgrade their equipment and make their facilities safer for trainers, jockeys and horses.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford
“The new starting gates at Avoca will help ensure that racing continues to have an important place in the Central Highlands and remains a significant economic driver for our region.”
Quotes attributable to Avoca Shire Turf Club Manager Kate Kirkpatrick
“These new starting gates will be a valuable addition to our facilities, and we thank the Victorian Government for its support.”
“This equipment will be greatly welcomed by trainers and jockeys, and will help to ensure that Avoca remains one of the top racing destinations in country Victoria.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020