Australian state says no to jumps racing

Dec 03, 2009
By staff
Victoria, Australia -- Citing ever-increasing injuries and fatalities to horses -- despite new safety measures -- the Board of Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) is ending jumps racing in the state.

The RVL has made safety changes recommended by six reports from 1991 to 2008, yet falls and fatalities continue to rise, says RVL chairman Michael Duffy. In fact, total falls increased by 33 percent despite fewer races run in the 2009 season.

"There is an inevitability about the long-term future of jumps racing," Duffy says.

Victorians' opinion of jumps racing has also fallen, according to Duffy. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said incidents that occur in jumps racing are not an acceptable price to pay for the sport to continue. The popularity of jumps racing among owners and trainers has also diminished in the past five years.