Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced new support for Victorian businesses, including horse/trail riding services, equine colleges, equine therapy centres and pony clubs, to bolster the opportunities afforded horses’ that have retired from the Victorian racing industry.
A new $10,000 business grant for Victorian equine-related businesses will help boost their operations, with the sole objective of growing the number of off-the-track thoroughbreds being utilised by these organisations.
The Off The Track Business Grant Program is expected to help stimulate businesses to accommodate more horses, including those currently operating with thoroughbreds or looking to take them on for the first time.
The program contains four key initiatives, including increasing the number of retired thoroughbreds an equine business can utilise; increasing the breadth of career options for non-competitive thoroughbreds; providing longevity to thoroughbreds in their post-racing career; and encouraging an equine business (which may currently utilise other breeds) to incorporate thoroughbreds into their operation on a sustainable basis.
Both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses are eligible to apply for the grant, and must submit their application before 5pm (AEST) on April 9, 2021 via the programs SmartyGrants page.
Building on the positive progress of RV’s current post-racing initiatives, this program recognises the importance of growing the demand for thoroughbreds beyond the equestrian community to maximise the opportunities afforded every retired racehorse.
This grant becomes even more important in the current climate, where the COVID-19 pandemic continues to suppress economic activity, and may do for a considerable period into the future.
The Off The Track Business Grant Program will complement the various post-racing initiatives RV has introduced over the past 12 months, including the RESET Program, Retrainer Capacity Expansion Grant Program, COVID-19 relief support scheme for RV Acknowledged Retrainers, and partnerships with organisations such as Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria to help improve the post-racing wellbeing of racehorses in Victoria.
For more information on the Off The Track Business Grant Program, including application criteria, visit: racingvictoria.com.au/grants
Quotes attributed to RV General Manager, Equine Welfare, Jennifer Hughes:
“I’m really excited to see the Off The Track Business Grant Program open to Victorian businesses today.
“It’s another important step to help expand our post-racing options available to retired racehorses.
“We know that like any horse, not all former gallopers are suited to the equestrian world, so this opens the door for more thoroughbreds to explore non-competitive options post-racing.
“The program also provides us the opportunity to work with operators we traditionally haven’t considered as a pathway for off-the-track horses and further demonstrate the versatility of thoroughbreds.
“We hope to support and incentivise those businesses that are either looking to increase the number of thoroughbreds they currently have or for those considering the breed for the first time.
“Ultimately, our aim is to see this program drive long-term demand for thoroughbreds post-racing and support the growth of equine businesses operating in Victoria.”