A review into the much publicised jumps racing incident at Warrnambool during the Grand Annual Steeplechase has been accepted by the Victorian government.
The report gave recommendations which have been endorsed by the Racing Minister on how to avoid such an incident occurring again.
Some of the measures include educational programs about the dangers runaway horses pose as well as annual inspections of the fences surrounding the racecourse perimeter.
Denis Napthine is the Racing Minister for Victoria and he ordered the review into spectator safety after a horse cleared a two metre fence and landed in a group of people earlier in the year.
Seven people were injured in the chaos and the dramatic footage made headlines around the world.
Among those who were more seriously injured were an 80 year old women and two year old boy, they had no warning that the riderless Banna Strand was bearing down on them.
Warrnambool Racing Club itself has also been given instructions on improving spectator safety.
As Racing Victoria’s chief executive Rob Hines also has a big role to play, he says evaluating risk and ensuring safe practices where an ongoing part of the horse racing industry.
“Racing Victoria is confident that the proposed measures will further improve the comprehensive safety systems that are in place at each of the state’s racecourses and we look forward to working with the clubs to implement the recommendations,” he said.
The review said there was no breach of WorkSafe guidelines and that the incident wasn’t caused by any lapse in safety or risk management protocols.
Having said that the guidelines will now be updated given what has occurred with and industry overhaul to implement a new four step master plan.
The Minister says the major aspect is the ongoing maintenance and monitoring of racecourse facilities state wide to ensure they are constantly kept up to standard.
“The report provided to me by Racing Victoria emphasises the importance of not taking spectator safety for granted and making sure resources are continually put into maintaining safe racing facilities,” he said.
Having been endorsed by the government all the recommendations will come into action immediately.
It also seems that the talk of jumps racing being banned in the state have washed away with a direct cash injection securing the future of the sport for at least the next three years.
Over that period Racing Victoria has guaranteed $8.85 million in prize money for jumps racing events.
The government will also contribute a sum of $2 million over the next four years which will help with the costs of purchasing a new set of the remodelled obstacles which have been in use for nearly a year and a half.