HERO HORSES TO FEATURE AT BENDIGO PACING CUP
Retired racehorses are set to return to the track today for this year’s Bendigo Pacing Cup as ambassadors for the Harness Education Re-homing Opportunities (HERO) program.
The cup meeting is being supported with a joint $29,000 funding package from the Andrews Labor Government, Bendigo Harness Racing Club and the local community.
The HERO program retrains retired racehorses to become trail riding ponies, competitive show and eventing horses, or simply pleasure animals and family pets.
The retired horses will lead all race fields on to the track and the public will have the opportunity to meet them throughout the evening.
The club will promote the event as ‘$5 Friday’, with half-price entry and a free racebook. A range of family friendly entertainment will be on-course including Kelly Sports activities, jumping castles, face painting and pony rides.
Additional upstairs seating will also be available and furnished marquees will be provided free of charge on the grassed trackside area.
The Labor Government will contribute $14,600 towards the event through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund Raceday Attraction Program. The club is providing almost $9700 and local businesses are contributing a further $4950.
The racing industry in the Loddon region alone generates more than $166 million for the Victorian economy and helps sustain more than 1640 full-time equivalent jobs locally.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“The Bendigo Pacing Cup is a highlight on the harness racing calendar and gives retired horses a life after racing.”
“The meeting has produced some outstanding winners in the past and I encourage people to head down to the track for this year’s race.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“This program will give old race horses a new lease on life, and ensure they can continue to entertain audiences and bring people to Bendigo.”
Quotes attributable to Bendigo Harness Racing Club Operations Manager Gary Cooper
“The BHRC is grateful for the Victorian Government’s ongoing support, which will allow the club to stage an exciting night of racing and entertainment.”
“We are also pleased that the HERO program will be on hand to showcase some of the horses who have benefited from this wonderful animal welfare initiative.”