Racing Victoria (RV) and Victorian Agricultural Shows Ltd are excited to announce the start of a new Off the Track show horse series to be held at agricultural shows across Victoria.
The Off the Track class is exclusive to retired racehorses and culminates in a final at the Victorian Agricultural Show (VAS) Saddle Horse Championships in Bendigo.
The initiative is both a great support to local agricultural show competitions as well as the majors, Rod Bowles, Chairman, of VAS, said.
"There are currently thousands of retired racehorses in Victoria succeeding in their post racing lives as show horses," Rod said.
"In fact, nearly all show hacks at the highest level are retired racehorses, including 2012 National Show Horse Champion and Garryowen winner, Xlerate.
"We are pleased to be working closely with RV to showcase the suitability of retired racehorses and look forward to watching the competition unfold."
RV's Equine Welfare Officer, Cara Shelley, said the wealth of retired racehorses within the show horse industry is indicative of their suitability for off the track disciplines.
"Many thousands of racehorses have gone on to be successful show horses; they are highly versatile animals and we have witnessed extraordinary results in the show ring," Shelley said.
"RV is excited to be supporting the series which will further promote the retired racehorse as the ideal equestrian athlete.
Approximately 110 Off the Track classes will be held at Victorian shows throughout 2013, with the next event on the calendar at Lang Lang show on January 19.
Once a horse has won an Off the Track class they will gain automatic entry into the Off the Track series final at the Saddle Horse Championships held in January 2014. Class winners are not able to compete in the class for the rest of the season.
Each class winner will receive $50 and a VAS prize pack.