More than $500,000 raised during the inaugural Tour d’Horse in support of KIDS Foundation

13 February 2024 Written by VRC

The inaugural Tour d’Horse charity ride reached a special milestone at the end of its journey, raising more than $500,000 in support of the KIDS Foundation.

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) alongside other representatives from the thoroughbred racing industry took part in the 200km endurance race with seven members of the VRC team partnered up with a retired racehorse on each leg.

Other racing industry organisations who supported the fundraising efforts included Godolphin, Michael Freedman, Anthony & Sam Freedman, Michelle Payne Racing, Magic Millions, Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Emirates Park, Petstock and Greg Eurell.

With the motto ‘riding with purpose and passion’ the group of 17 teams made their way across the Hunter Valley to a grand arrival at the Tamworth Country Music Festival with some of Australia's most famous country artists paying a visit including Troy Cassar-Daley.

Australian actress and Ride Like A Girl director, Rachel Griffiths AM represented the Michelle Payne Racing team and was enthusiastic about the fundraising initiative.

“This fantastic community have all come in for this charity (and) it has a really gorgeous feeling.”

The New England district was treated to the first public appearance of the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup as it was carried through the streets on horseback as part of the 2024 Tamworth Country Music Parade.

The funds raised during the 10-day journey will enable KIDS Foundation to reach 200,000 children in 2024 via the following activities:

  • Run five recovery camps, providing individualised support and equine assisted therapy programs for injury and trauma survivors.
  • Deliver early intervention programs that protect and care for children’s physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • Provide resources and books for under-resourced children, families, preschools and schools.
  • Put $20,000 of programs and resources into the local communities Tour d’Horse travels through.

VRC Chief Executive Steve Rosich said the club was proud to be involved in supporting such an amazing cause.

“The inaugural Tour d’Horse was an incredible success and it was great to see so many organisations from across the racing industry come together to make a difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in our society,” Mr Rosich said.

“It has been a very meaningful way for us to give back to the community this year and the Club is proud to have helped raise more than $33,000 for the foundation and contribute to the overall result of over $500,000.”

KIDS Foundation Founder and CEO Dr Susie O’Neill OAM was delighted with the fundraising efforts and support from all over the country.

“We are so proud and excited to have reached the goal of raising more than $500,000. It was a huge success and an amazing effort from the whole group of riders, the crew and the entire team behind the scenes,” Dr O’Neill said.

“A big thank you to all of those that supported the foundation along the way, and we are so excited to put the funds to use and help kids.”

Fundraising efforts are ongoing, and people can donate via the link here.