Perry a jumps fan
Newcastle trainer Paul Perry has added his voice to the supporters of jumps racing, saying horses will be culled unnecessarily with the end of the sport in Victoria.
Perry was a part-owner of 2008 Great Eastern Steeple winner Conzeal, a moderate flat performer in NSW whose career was extended when he was sent south to be trained over jumps by Eric Musgrove.
"It’s a darn shame," Perry said.
"Most of those horses will find their way to the knackery now.
"Conzeal has a nice life now as a show horse.
"Would he have had that without going to Victoria for a jumps career.
"In Europe they have a wonderful winter jumps season with proper jumps and they breed horses specifically to be jumpers.
"It’s just such a shame.
"What will happen to all those horses now."
Jumps racing participants will call on all resources this week to try to save the sport which is due to end in Victoria after the 2010 season.
The Australian Jumps Racing Association (AJRA) will meet with industry shareholders on Monday to discuss a course of action.
Leading jumps trainer Robbie Laing is among those dismayed at the decision by Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) to abandon jumps racing in the face of opposition from animal activist groups.
"I’m shellshocked, it’s bewildering that a small minority can stop jumps racing," Laing told Sky Racing’s Retro program.
"RVL has let us down."
The decision to end jumps racing in Victoria leaves South Australia as the only state to retain the sport after it was discontinued in Tasmania a couple of years ago.
Jumps racing was halted in NSW with the outbreak of WWII and did not recommence after the war.
The softer tracks in the southern states and New Zealand are deemed more suitable for jumpers.
But even with guidelines on how to prepare tracks and modified obstacles, the death and injury rate this season was high.
AJRA president Rodney Rae says it is important to get the perspectives of racing’s legislated shareholders which include the three metropolitan clubs, Country Racing Victoria, breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, unions and bookmakers.
Legal action and a call for a spill of the RVL board are options that have been mooted.