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KBRC boss raises fresh safety concerns as patrons ignore protocols

Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club chief executive Brett Snell says patrons ignoring safety protocols by taking sporting equipment through the gates at Kalgoorlie racecourse is a disaster waiting to happen.

Snell this week raised fresh concerns about the potential for serious injury to patrons, on-course staff and horses after a ball was kicked on to the track at Sunday’s Goldfields Tattersalls Club Cup meeting.

Safety issues brought an initial plea from Snell in April to leave equipment at home after footballs were kicked into the mounting yard, but he said the message was not getting through.

“The public just don’t understand the dangers,” Snell said.

“Ramifications if something goes wrong are serious and we ask them (patrons) not to bring them.

“Our staff are not qualified security people, but still there are young children running around kicking footies, soccer balls and the like.

“We’re not here as a means for people to showcase their skills, babysitters or (qualified) security people so this is very hard for us to manage.

“These (horses) are 500kg animals and for the staff it’s as frustrating as hell.

“We try and be nice about it and then on race day parents want to fight you.

“(People) are ignorant to the fact, until someone gets hurt.”

Snell’s latest concerns are just eight days out from the Coolgardie Cup, which represents the traditional start to the Race Round and he hoped the protocols would be more closely followed.

Meanwhile, the contribution made to Goldfields racing by the late Ron Sayers will be formally recognised at the Kalgoorlie Cup meeting on October 1.

Snell said the finale to the KBRC’s annual Race Round carnival would include the $115,000 Ron Sayers Sprint (1100m).

The old tote building at Kalgoorlie racecourse will also be known as the Ron Sayers Pavilion.

Sayers, who died in May aged 70, was a lifetime supporter of the KBRC who revelled in promoting the Race Round.

For years, that support included Sayers and his wife Lyn opening their Yarradale Park Stud property near Gidgegannup to all racing industry members.

Sayers was introduced to racing by his father Tom and as a small boy he dreamed of winning a feature during the round.

The first step was Sayers buying a half-share in Queensland galloper Forehand, ahead of the 1995 carnival.

“More planning went into this than the landing at Normandy,” Sayers said after Forehand was nominated for the Coolgardie, Boulder and Kalgoorlie cups.

Forehand was unplaced in the 1995 Coolgardie Cup, but Sayers fulfilled his childhood dream when he claimed a memorable Boulder Cup/Kalgoorlie Cup double.

Sayers also part-owned 2005 Kalgoorlie Cup winner, Priceless Matt.

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