VRC to support inaugural Tour d’Horse

19 January 2024 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) is pleased to announce its support of the very first edition of Tour d’Horse, a 10 day, 200km endurance horse race in support of the KIDS Foundation.

The unique event aims to raise $500,000 for the KIDS Foundation and starts on Friday 19 January, with riders and horses walking 200km between Pokolbin and the Tamworth Country Music Festival Parade on Saturday 27 January.

A not-for-profit organisation, KIDS Foundation was established 30 years ago to make a difference in child wellbeing, safety and injury recovery. The KIDS team works with children to help them overcome horrific injuries and trauma caused through burns, accidents, violent crime and abuse, supporting them to recover and build a strong life through education and empowerment, recovery camps and programs. All 2024 programs have an equine focus, with many incorporating retired racehorses.

The funds raised by Tour d’Horse this year 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.

The VRC has been paired up with a retired racehorse for the Tour, with seven members of the VRC team volunteering to ride at least one leg of the race. The 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup will also make a special appearance, being carried on horseback into the Tamworth Country Music Festival on Saturday 27 January in what will be the first public appearance of this year’s $600,000 trophy.

Kel Keir, Rachel Griffiths, Matt Theile, Spencer Connelly before the first ride at Tour d’Horse.

Closer to home, Flemington Racecourse will feature the Tour d’Horse Trophy as Race 3 at 1.20pm on Saturday 20 January as part of the VRC’s Summer Fun Race Day in tribute to the initiative.

The VRC has been joined by 16 other teams fielding a horse for the Tour, including racing industry organisations Godolphin, Michael Freedman, Anthony & Sam Freedman, Michelle Payne Racing, Magic Millions, Melbourne Racing Club Foundation, Emirates Park, Petstock and Greg Eurell.

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the club is proud to support the very first running of Tour d’Horse.

“The KIDS Foundation’s Tour d’Horse is a wonderful event that uses the magic of horse riding to raise funds for children who have experienced unimaginable trauma,” Mr Rosich said.

“As a racing club, we know that the right horse has the capacity to change a person’s life, and it is pleasing to see that extended to help some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

“I commend all of our fellow horseracing organisations for signing up for this extraordinary initiative and encourage everyone associated with our industry to contribute to this great cause.”