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Off The Track Business Grant boosts support for retired racehorses

6 April 2022 Written by Racing Victoria

Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced a second round of support for Victorian equine businesses to bolster the opportunities afforded to horses that have retired from the Victorian racing industry.

The Off The Track Business Grant Program will collectively offer up to $150,000 for Victorian equine-related businesses to help boost their operations, with the sole objective of growing the number of off-the-track thoroughbreds being utilised by these organisations.

In 2021, the first round of funding supported seven Victorian businesses by contributing close to $70,000 to help improve services offered by trail riding businesses, equine therapy centres, equestrian centres and children and adult riding schools.

This year’s business grant is expected to do likewise and help stimulate businesses to accommodate more horses, including those currently operating with thoroughbreds or looking to take them on for the first time.

The program is seeking to improve equine welfare outcomes for off-the-track horses by increasing the breadth of career options and non-competitive pathways, as well as further driving demand for off-the-track horses into long term homes.

Both for-profit and not-for-profit businesses are eligible to apply for the grant, and must submit their application before 5pm on Monday, 2 May 2022 via the programs SmartyGrants page.

Building on the positive progress of RV’s current post-racing initiatives, this program recognises the importance of growing the demand for thoroughbreds beyond the equestrian community to maximise the opportunities afforded every retired racehorse.

The Off The Track Business Grant Program complements RV’s various post-racing initiatives, including the RESET Program, Retrainer Capacity Expansion Grant Program, COVID-19 relief support scheme for RV Acknowledged Retrainers, and ongoing partnerships with organisations such as the Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria to help improve the post-racing wellbeing of racehorses in Victoria.

For more information on the Off The Track Business Grant Program, including application criteria, visit: ottcommunity.com.au/programs/equine-business-grants

Quotes attributed to RV General Manager, Equine Welfare, Jennifer Hughes:

“It’s great to once again support equine businesses in Victoria with access to our Off The Track Business Grant Program.

“Last year’s recipients made good use of the additional funding to increase the capacity of their businesses to take on more retired racehorses. These projects included capital upgrades, coaching, human resourcing, horse re-education and acquisition of new equipment.

“Increasing these opportunities outside of the known pathways such as equestrian is important as we know not every horse is suitable to compete in the equestrian ring, so it’s important to open the door for more thoroughbreds to explore non-competitive options post-racing.

“The program has also provided us the opportunity to work with operators we traditionally haven’t considered as a pathway for off-the-track horses and further demonstrate the versatility of thoroughbreds.

“Ultimately, we want to implement programs that are sustainable and collectively help improve outcomes for retired racehorses. The Off The Track Business Grant Program does just this while supporting the growth of equine operators in Victoria.”

Image caption: Racing Victoria has announced further grants to support retired racehorses (Credit: Racing Photos)

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