Abby Vidler with ex-racehorse Diggersanddealers (Image: supplied)
Racing Victoria will bolster its support of Victoria’s Riding for the Disabled centres to ensure increased opportunities for retired racehorses.
On Monday, RV announced an initial $50,000 investment which will allow RDAV to expand its popular riding programs and to accommodate additional horses at its 34 centres across Victoria.
RDAV currently uses many different breeds of horses including thoroughbreds and as part of the partnership, RV will also fund a pilot program for another group of ex-racehorses to enter tailored retraining, with the goal of being rehomed by RDAV.
RV’s General Manager – Equine Welfare, Jen Hughes, said the important partnership was the latest step in the industry’s $25 million commitment to accelerate and expand its three-year equine welfare action plan.
“Thoroughbreds have a smart, gentle and intuitive nature and this is the perfect opportunity to support more people to experience the hugely positive effects of having them in their lives,” Hughes said.
“It’s great that through our partnership with RDAV we can help increase the number of horses they can accommodate at their centres and expand the work they do in the community.
“The partnership signals another important step for our post-racing framework as we continue to develop a range of sustainable pathways for thoroughbred racehorses leaving the sport.
“Our aim is to find every retired racehorse their perfect home. That might not come easily for some, so it’s important that we invest in these relationships to expand the opportunities afforded to every racehorse.”
RDAV President Andrea Lucas said her charity relied on the support of benefactors like Racing Victoria.
“The generosity of donors and sponsors like Racing Victoria allows our dedicated team of volunteers to continue providing our programs to 1100 riders with a disability each year,” Lucas said.
“It’s also great that we can create a new non-competition pathway for Victorian horses leaving the racing industry."