The sudden loss of TT Line’s equine horse transport capacity is having a significant impact on Tasmanian Racing.
Melbourne Cup Day is a day where thousands of Tasmanians enjoy racing, but this year industry participants are concerned for their businesses.
The transport of horses on and off the island for breeding and racing is critical for the success of Tasmanian racing.
Not since it shut down racing in 2020 has the Tasmanian Government put so much pressure on to racing participants.
Tasmania should have representatives racing at Flemington during the carnival this week, with Tasmania’s leading trainer for over a decade, Scott Brunton, being unable to travel his horses to compete.
Mr Brunton’s horse, Sir Simon, was accepted at Flemington on Thursday, but is without a viable way to get to Melbourne.
Similarly, Tasmania’s Harness Racing code has significant meetings coming up in coming weeks, with horses from the mainland looking to make their mark here in Tasmania.
Labor is calling on the State Government and TT Line to immediately allow horse transport companies access to sailings.
In the short to medium term, a solution for all livestock needs to be found.
These businesses are professional, well run and have a long track record of successfully transporting horses on the Spirit of Tasmania ships. These operators were not associated with the loss of 16 polo ponies almost five years ago and have an excellent track record of safely transporting horses.
They have transported hundreds of horses across Bass Strait safely over the years and it makes no sense for them to be prohibited from doing so.
Dean Winter MP
Shadow Minister for Racing