Phoenix Students Seek End of Jumps Racing

Samuel Ord
Environment & Social Justice Reporter
YMCA Youth Press Gallery

Phoenix P-12 Community College team members
Phoenix P-12 Community College team members

A group of students from Phoenix P-12 Community College have submitted a Bill to the YMCA Youth Parliament calling for the criminalisation of jumps racing in Victoria.

The Bill, categorised by its concern for the welfare of horses across Australia competing in competition jumps racing, details several core factors which lead to the sport being labelled ‘intrinsically dangerous and immoral’.

The Bill is also supported by a range of research from both international and Australia research facilities, including documents produced by the University of Melbourne in 2006 which rank jumps racing as the having “a higher risk of injury and death to the horse in a jump than in any other forms of racing.”

According to the Phoenix students, the aim of their work is to encourage the progressive phase of out jumps racing from the Victorian Jumps racing industry.

Due to a failure of multiple past reviews into the practice failing to lead to a reduction in either injury or mortalities in both South Australia and Victoria, the only two Australian states which allow the practice, the students wish to see the sport full criminalised.

The driving force within the Bill is the creation of the Victorian Jumps Racing Abolishment Committee (VJRAC) which would be introduced at the passing of the Bill through Victorian Parliament.

VJRAC would be forced through seasonal evaluations on its road to the elimination of jumps racing in Victoria and the administration would review and alter their approach depend on the success and failures of the past.

Speaking with the YMCA Press Gallery, RSCPA Victoria remains one of Australia’s most prominent organisations who oppose jumps racing.

“It’s a huge concern that the state government is making its disregard for horse and jockey welfare clear when it comes to the cruel ‘sport’ of jumps racing,” says Dr. Liz Walker, CEO, RSPCA Victoria.

In recent years the RSPCA has increased pressure on Racing Victoria and the Minister of Racing to ban jumps racing and have conducted research that confirms that the majority of Victorians want this sport banned.

“We, and the majority of Victorians, believe it is hard to justify the continuation of this cruel sport,” says Dr. Walker. “No amount of education, training or alterations to the placement and height of hurdles will stop the injuries and fatalities.”

“When will the government wake up and accept that jumps racing is deadly for horses and dangerous for their jockeys?”