Located approximately 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Melbourne’s central business district, the Werribee International Horse Centre is the home away from home for internationals competing across the Spring Racing Carnival.

Owned and operated by Racing Victoria, the centre is the only approved Post-Arrival Quarantine (PAQ) facility in Melbourne where horses can remain in full training during the Spring Racing Carnival.

The centre, which is monitored by 24-hour security, includes secure storage and implements bio-security measures in line with Australian government requirements.

The centre has three compounds which can house 32 horses in first-class facilities. The Newminster compound can house 16 horses across three barns; the Vintage Crop compound can house eight horses across two barns; and the newly-built Americain compound can house eight horses in one large barn. The three compounds operate independently from one another, thereby allowing flexibility around arrivals from different regions without disrupting another compound’s quarantine period.

Each compound includes:

  • Large rubber padded boxes
  • Large day yards
  • Electronic scales
  • Internal sand fibre walking rings
  • Sand rolls
  • Multiple wash bays


Prior to travelling to Australia, horses must serve a minimum of 14 days in PEQ in approved premises.

All visiting horses must serve a minimum of 14 days in PAQ at the Werribee International Horse Centre (WIHC), before being permitted to leave the centre for external training or racing purposes.

Arrivals into Melbourne on the first shipment (Saturday 28 September, 2019) are scheduled to allow visiting horses to race from Saturday, 12 October onwards.

For specific shipping schedules from your country of origin, please contact Racing Victoria’s General Manager – Internationals, Paul Bloodworth, on +61 403 346467.

Werribee International Horse Centre (WIHC).

 Visiting horses are stabled at the WIHC, located at Werribee Racecourse (approximately 30km from Melbourne). You can learn more here about the stabling and track facilities at WIHC, including a grass training track and an all-weather training track.

Travelling Staff Visas

Visa requirements for all visiting staff including trainers, jockeys, riders, grooms and any other accompanying staff have recently changed. The type of passport held will determine which application process to use which may take up to 28 days to process. A letter of invitation will be provided if required. For further information contact Racing Victoria at your earliest convenience who will advise on the type of Visa application required.

On confirmation of your horse travelling to Melbourne, Racing Victoria will send a pack including all information and paperwork for completion. The paperwork includes forms for:

- Horse registration 
- Feed and bedding order 
- Trainer / staff licensing 
- Vet selection 
- Staff accommodation booking.

Travelling Staff

Racing Victoria will assist you with all arrangements for your travelling staff leading up to their arrival and throughout their stay. Before arrival, we will assist with: - Getting each staff member licensed for temporary stable work in Melbourne - Booking accommodation with secured competitive rates.

On arrival, we will provide the following:

- A car for staff use 
- A mobile phone 
- Transport to and from the airport for those staff not travelling with the horse(s).

Once in Melbourne, Racing Victoria Staff will liaise with your staff on a daily basis so if anything is needed, someone will be on hand to assist.

Feed and Bedding

Racing Victoria will provide high quality local feed, hay and bedding on request. Once it has been confirmed that a horse will be travelling to Australia, an order form with all available products will be sent. Feed may be imported, however imported feed is subject to strict quarantine regulations including inspection and irradiation treatment. Trainers should be aware that irradiation may affect the palatability of certain feeds. 


Prior to the horse’s arrival in Victoria, you must complete a Visiting International Trainer Application form which requires you to provide:

  • a Racing Clearance from the Racing Authority with which you are licensed as a Trainer;
  • a copy of your International Bank Details form (included in the application pack);
  • a copy of your Passport;
  • a colour passport-size photo; and
  • an Australian Visa that permits you to carry out this role (not required for NZ applicants)

You are also required to read and acknowledge the following:

  • Notices to Trainers;
  • Alcohol and Drug Testing at Werribee International Horse Centre (WIHC); and
  • Banned Substances Information Sheet

The only fee applicable for visitors relates to the Public Liability Insurance Policy. This fee is applied as follows:

  • $385.00 flat fee covering 1st September to 30th November; or
  • an automatic deduction of a further $85.00 per any other additional month.
All Stable Employees (including all persons who assist with the training or care of the horses), must be registered with Racing Victoria by completing a Visiting International Stable Employee Application form. There is no fee for this registration.
Veterinary Information

Medication and Doping Control

Horses racing in Victoria must be free of prohibited substances on race day. In support of Racing Victoria’s (RV) policy of drug free racing, RV maintains a rigorous drug control program. Blood and urine testing are conducted to ensure the integrity of our racing.

Horses presenting for racing are frequently sampled and tested for substances prohibited under the Australian Rules of Racing.

Prohibited substances are considered to be any substance that is capable of acting directly or indirectly on any of the body systems (a full list is contained in Australian Rule 178B). As well as race day testing for prohibited substances, out of competition (in-training) testing for non-therapeutic or illegal substances is also undertaken. A brief summary of the testing program is provided below.

In addition to the drug testing program, there are a number of rules, restrictions, stand down periods and other related advice that pertain to the use of therapeutic substances, routes of administration and physical therapies. Your veterinarian whilst in Australia will be able to provide advice on the use of medications or other substances and physical therapies leading up to race day.

Click here for more information on the control of race day treatments and the medication of racehorses and advice on stand down periods.

It is the responsibility of trainers to be aware of the Rules of Racing and to take all proper precautions to avoid breaching them. Further information in relation to this advice is contained in the Australian Rules of Racing and/or can be obtained by contacting the Veterinary Department at Racing Victoria.

Veterinary Inspections

Prior to the departure of a horse from their home country, horses are required to undergo a pre-travel veterinary inspection.

Horses are inspected by a Racing Victoria veterinarian upon arrival at the Werribee International Horse Centre.

Pre-Race Veterinary Inspections occur 48 hours prior to final acceptance time for the 2018 Emirates Melbourne Cup with the top 35 horses (in ballot order) inspected by a Racing Victoria approved veterinarian. Additional examination may be undertaken at any time at the discretion of the stewards.

Approved Riding Gear

The approved tack and riding gear for training and racing in Australia has some significant differences to approved gear in other overseas countries. On arrival, Racing Victoria Stewards will be on hand to inspect the equipment brought for horses and riders. If any of the gear does not meet standards required as per the Rules of Racing or the Register of Nationally Approved Gear Racing Victoria will assist staff in purchasing replacements before commencing trackwork.

The main items that trainers should be aware of that may differ from their home country are:

Helmets and Safety Vests

The main things to note are: 
- Helmets must be no more than 5 years old (date of manufacture to be visible inside the helmet) 
- Helmets must comply with the standards approved by the Australian Racing Board. These standards being:

i) AS/NZS 3838 2003 
ii) United States (US) ASTM F11 63-01 
iii) British Standards (BS) EN 1384/1996 onwards

- Vests must comply with the standards approved by the Australian Racing Board. These standards being:

i) ARB Standard 1.1998 
ii) SATRA Jockey Vest standard 
iii) European Standard EN 13158 Level 1. Please find detailed explanation of ARB 87 and 87B below:

AR 87

Every licensed or registered person or permit holder shall when mounted on a horse wear a properly affixed helmet which conforms to one of the standards that have been approved by the Australian Racing Board. Note: Pursuant to AR 87 the Australian Racing Board has ordered that:

(a) The following standards are approved by the Australian Racing Board: 
(i) AS/NZS 3838 2006; 
(ii) United States (US) ASTM F11 63-01; 
(iii) British Standards (BS) EN 1384/1996 onwards; 
(iv) United States (US) ASTM F11 63-04a (reapproved 2011); 
(v) PAS 015:2011 
(vi) VG1 01.040, recommendation for use 12/12/2014.

(b) all helmets must be fitted with a nylon interlocking chinstrap clip attachment; 
(c) all helmets must be clearly marked with a date of manufacture; and 
(d) the use of helmets is subject to the conditions of AR 87AA.

AR 87B

(1) Every rider shall when mounted on a horse wear a properly fastened Approved or permitted safety vest the standard of which has been prescribed by Order of the Board. Provided that every such Approved or permitted safety vest shall be in a satisfactory condition and shall have attached to it a manufacturer’s label that states that it complies with the relevant standard prescribed by the Board.

(2) Notwithstanding compliance with subrule (1), no safety vest may be worn in a race, official trial or jumpout unless it is an Approved safety vest. Such Approved Level 1 safety vests are: Hows Racesafe, Ozvest, Racelite Pro, Vipa and USG Flexi Race. [amended 1/08/14]

(3) The Stewards may confiscate or order the satisfactory repair of any safety vest that does not comply with the requirements of subrules (1) and (2). Note: Pursuant to AR 87B, the Australian Racing Board has ordered that the following two standards of safety vests only are prescribed: ARB Standard 1.1998 and European Standard EN 13158.

[amended 1/8/07, deleted and replaced 1/7/14]

Padded Whips

- Only whips of a design and specifications approved by a panel appointed by the Australian Racing Board may be carried in trackwork 
- The attending Racing Victoria Steward on arrival will advise if whips brought do not comply with the approved standards and RV will assist staff in purchasing one that is.

The full whip requirements can be found in the Rules of Racing, Rule AR 137A on page 45.


- Blinkers must be open cupped, to permit a full forward and peripheral view with the cup not exceeding 6cm in width 
- Visor Blinkers must conform to the requirements for Blinkers provided that no more than 50% of the cup may be removed 
- Blinkers nor visor blinkers must not be cut back in any way to reduce their original width.

The full requirements can be found in the Register of Nationally Approved Gear, on page 3.


- reins must not be made of leather - reins must have rubber grips - reins must have rubber or leather keepers or stoppers, when buckles and rings are both used.

The full reins requirements can be found in the Register of Nationally Approved Gear, on page 12.

It is also a good idea to check your other tack and riding gear to make sure it complies with Australian standards. Full specifications for riding gear can be found in the Rules of Racing. Exact specifications for tack can be found in the Register of Nationally Approved Gear.

Testing Information

Pre-Race Testing

Blood and/or urine samples may be taken from any horses competing on race day, after their arrival at the racecourse. If a horse is selected for testing, the trainer or their representative will be handed a card that will direct them to present their horse to the Veterinary Area for sampling at a specified time. All samples collected for post-race analysis are processed, certified and forwarded to a laboratory where they are tested for the presence of prohibited substances.


Post-Race Blood and Urine Testing

In the period immediately after competition, a urine and/or blood sample is collected from all winners and a range of other horses at the discretion of the Stewards. All samples collected for post-race analysis are processed and forwarded to a laboratory where they are tested for the presence of prohibited substances.


Out of Competition / In Training Testing

Blood and/or urine samples may be taken from any horses in training at any time at the discretion of the Stewards.