Racing Victoria (RV) is pleased to announce that its Off the Track program will be the naming rights sponsor of the Mildura Horse Trials, taking place this weekend (28-30 July).
Approximately 200 equine athletes – including over 60 retired racehorses – will be competing in the Off the Track Mildura Horse Trials, held adjacent to Mildura Racecourse.
Across all classes, RV will award prizes – including inscribed rugs and a cash bonus – to the highest-placed Off the Track horse. Established in 2012, the Off the Track program aims to facilitate and encourage the placement of retired thoroughbred racehorses in second careers. The Mildura Horse Trials was started a decade ago as a Year 12 project by then-Pony Club member Bridget Caminiti, who remains the Event Director to this day.
From such humble beginnings, the event has grown in stature and prestige and now boasts nationally-accredited facilities which attract more than 150 riders from across Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
The event is therefore a natural fit for Racing Victoria according to Dayle Brown, RV’s Executive General Manager – Integrity Services.
“The Mildura Horse Trials is such a well-attended and well-organised event, so we are delighted to offer RV’s support through our Off the Track program for the next two years,” he said.
“Equine welfare is one of our key pillars, so to see so many retired racehorses enjoying a second career as eventers gives us great satisfaction, and we look forward to a great weekend of competition.”
The action gets underway on Friday, 28 July with the Mildura Dressage competition and the Six Bar showjumping competition. As the name suggests, the Six Bar competition comprises a series of six jumps of ever increasing height, with two strides between each.
Then from Saturday the equine athletes competing in the Horse Trials will tackle the Ewan Kellett-designed course, which has been updated this year with 20 new cross-country jumps and a water complex.
Co-organiser Kelly Fyfe, who will again be competing herself, welcomed RV’s support of an event which continues to go from strength to strength.
“The atmosphere of our event is very welcoming and accommodating, which is probably why we keep growing in numbers each year,” she said.
“Many of our competitors come from rain-affected areas, but due to Mildura’s gorgeous climate we can look forward to blue skies and temperatures of 28 degrees this weekend, which should put a smile on everyone’s faces.
“It’s great to have Racing Victoria’s support for the next two years, and I’m sure the beautiful inscribed Off the Track rugs will be highly sought-after prizes,” she said.
Over the past five years, the number of acknowledged re-trainers involved in the Off the Track program has grown to more than 50.
Approximately 3,000 racehorses retire each season in Victoria, of which 90 per cent are re-homed to the equestrian, pleasure riding or breeding industries. Of this number, 69 per cent become pleasure or equestrian riding horses.
Since 2012, there have been more than 11,000 retired racehorses participate in over 400 Off the Track-sponsored events across Victoria.