The Board of Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) has today determined that the 2010 jumps racing season will be the last season of jumps racing in Victoria.
A program of highweight races will be scheduled for the 2011 season to assist with the transition for jockeys, trainers and horses.
RVL has also committed $1 million to a Transition and Marketing Fund to ensure the famous Warrnambool May Carnival maintains its position as one of Australia’s most popular and successful regional racing events.
Following a series of reviews undertaken in 1991, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2005 and 2008, the RVL Board undertook an internal review of the 2009 season which examined the current state of jumps racing, a five year trend analysis of key data and took into consideration submissions from various parties including the Australian Jumps Racing Association (AJRA).
RVL Chairman Michael Duffy said that jumps racing had been an important contributor to the history and evolution of thoroughbred racing in Victoria for many years.
“This has been an extremely tough decision for the Board,” Duffy said.
“The RVL Board is duty bound to always act in the best interests of the long term sustainability of Victorian thoroughbred racing and to protect the industry’s image and reputation within the broader community.
“After careful consideration, it is the RVL Board’s view that there is an inevitability about the long term future of jumps racing and consequently, it is in the interests of all to provide some certainty and an appropriate transition to a Victorian racing industry without jumps racing.
“Despite the implementation of all of the safety recommendations of the Jones Report conducted in 2008, the incidence of falls and fatalities has continued to increase. The recommendations of six previous reviews had been implemented without any sustained reduction in incident rates.
“Over the coming months RVL will be working closely with the participants and clubs impacted by the decision to ensure an effective and smooth transition.
“The safety of riders and horses in all forms of racing is of paramount importance and we will continue to do whatever is reasonably practicable to make jumps racing less hazardous during its final year in 2010,” Duffy said.