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Posted by Corinne Wilson on 09/09/2021.

Racing Victoria's 'Off the Track' program stays on track

Equestrian Victoria is excited to announce that our partnership with Racing Victoria and the Off the Track (OTT) program has been renewed for 2021/2022, with some exciting new additions. Along with the fabulous existing engagement with disciplines, OTT will be expanded to include a Preliminary Dressage Series, a new 90cm OTT Jumping Series and supporting the EV Young Ambassador program.

The Preliminary Dressage series will involve 10 events regionally around Victoria for the 2021/22 and will be available to all OTT horses. This new feature is sure to excite Dressage riders, providing opportunities for OTT horses within Dressage competitions. Jumping will be implementing a new 90cm OTT class to be run in conjunction with open classes at certain EA/EV affiliated events. This new class will run along with the existing 105cm class at events with the winners receiving an OTT rug.

"We are thrilled to once again partner with Equestrian Victoria to support the equestrian community and showcase the versatility of retired racehorses across a number of different disciplines," said Jennifer Hughes, Racing Victoria's General Manager of Equine Welfare.

"Equestrian Victoria does a fantastic job in celebrating the people and horses that are so vital to the equestrian industry, whether it be in a Led OTT Show Hunter class to the CCI 4* at Melbourne International 3 Day Event, and it's great to see off-the-trackers excelling in these opportunities."

Tracey Button, head of Business Partnerships at EV has been working closely with the Racing Victoria team over the past two years and thanked them for their ongoing support across the organisation, especially through these challenging times.

"We are so grateful for Racing Victoria's continued support of the EV Awards Night, Show Horse Nationals, EV Horse Trials, Spring Horse Trials, EV Summer Show, Barastoc HOTY, Jumping Victoria State Titles and the Melbourne International 3 day event - what a list!" she said.

Ms Hughes noted that although many events unfortunately did not go ahead in 2020, Racing Victoria look forward to seeing retired racehorses thriving in their second careers throughout the 21/22 season.

"We also look forward to the upcoming Equestrian Victoria Awards evening, which will once again recognise the fantastic work done by our Acknowledged Retrainers, as well as, for the first time, feature the OTT RESET Achievement Award, which will go to an Acknowledged Retrainer who has been outstanding in supporting our newly developed RESET Program, providing direct support for horses that are sound and have good prospects but have not been successful in transitioning to a second career outside of racing," she said.

"Our partnership with Equestrian Victoria also complements our recently launched post-racing platform, Off The Track Community, which acts as a hub to register retired racehorses, find events, take up additional educational opportunities and follow the stories of other horses."

From the entire victorian equestrian community, thank you for your support, helping our members to live their equestrian dream.

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