In conjunction with The Melbourne Cup Tour, the first of the Off the Track Educational School visits debuted on Wednesday 10th August 2016 at Alkimos Primary School and proved extremely popular among students, parents, teachers and the wider school community as a whole.
Off the Track is dedicated to retired West Australian racehorses, including both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds and with the assistance of former stars Scenic Shot, who competed in the 2007 Melbourne Cup and WA Hall of Fame Inductee Scenic Blast, students were educated about the life of a racehorse, the opportunities available to them in second careers on retirement from racing, and the exciting careers available within the racing industry…..a career students might like to consider when they have finished school.
The Melbourne Cup Tour ran from the 8th-13th August, visiting destinations within WA, including Perth, Bunbury & Broome. Alkimos Primary School was very fortunate to be selected as a winning tender for a tour visit, after Principal of the school Mr Andy Gorton (who also happens to be a part-time RWWA Steward) passionately submitted the school’s application.
“The majority of students at our school have never seen a horse in the flesh, let alone a racehorse and Melbourne Cup runner,” he said.
“The opportunity for students to learn about the life of a racehorse and the opportunities available to them post racing is a great thing”
Each student received an Off the Track show bag, which included merchandise and a book about Scenic Blast and his life pre and post racing. Including a classroom visit from an Off the Track representative who gave a presentation and video regarding the program, former jockey and current RWWA Riding Master Jeremy Hustwitt talked to students about his experience in riding Beaux Art in the 1996 Melbourne Cup. Students were also permitted to handle valuable trophies and memorabilia won by both horses throughout their racing careers.
The day culminated in the each class running their own Melbourne Cup race with horses they creatively designed themselves during their art classes prior to the visit and the inaugural Alkimos Cup.
Scenic Shot bowed out of racing with a record stakes earnings of over $3 million from only 74 starts and is now enjoying learning the art of ‘In hand’ display.
Scenic Blast won 3 Group 1 races including the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in England and was crowned Australian Horse of the Year in 2009. ‘Clyde’ as he is affectionately known is now excelling in the equestrian disciplines of Dressage, Show jumping & Eventing.