Racing backlash on jumps ban call   Leave a comment

Racing backlash on jumps ban call

Reporter
Adelaide

Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival president John Glatz yesterday said he would fight to keep the event despite Labor minister Leon Bignell wanting to phase it out.

“He’s been so inconsistent with what he’s said — two months ago … he said they were only going to stop jumps at Morphetville, and Oakbank could continue,” Mr Glatz said.

Jumps racing is banned in all states except South Australia and Victoria, and protesters and green groups have campaigned outside Oakbank’s gates for several years. Companies including Coopers have also withdrawn sponsorship from jumps events.

Oakbank has four jumps races out of 18 starts over its two-day carnival, held at the Adelaide Hills track since 1876. There has not been a horse death attributed to jumps racing at the event for three years.

A survey of 517 people undertaken at Oakbank on Saturday, which was attended by close to 34,000 people, found 80 per cent would return to the event if jumps were not on the card. Mr Glatz said a separate petition to keep jumps had ­attracted 4000 signatures.

The Greens have tabled a bill before parliament to ban steeplechase racing, which Mr Glatz said would significantly damage Adelaide Hills tourism. “If you get rid of jumps racing, (Mr Bignell) and his government will have to underwrite any losses of tourism, and loss of income to local hotels,” he said. “We have a massive amount of overseas and interstate visitors.”

Despite being the Minister for Racing and Tourism, Mr Bignell refused to attend Oakbank and said society no longer supported jumps. “Jumps racing was OK 25 or 50 years ago, but we’ve moved on,” he said.

“It’s like smoking in the workplace. There’s a lot of trainers around who refuse to train jumps horses.”

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Posted April 7, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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