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SA set to ban jumps racing

The South Australian government will support legislation to ban jumps racing, bringing SA into line with most other jurisdictions.

A Greens bill before parliament’s lower house is now expected to be endorsed as early as Thursday in what Deputy Premier Susan Close says will bring certainty to the sector.

She says the racing industry has already ceased to hold jumps events in SA with the format becoming uneconomical, as fans stay away amid rising concerns for the welfare of horses.

The minister said while jumps races were once an intrinsic part of the racing industry, it had fallen out of favour with the number of falls and deaths of horses now considered unacceptable.

“The time for this industry has now elapsed,” Ms Close told reporters on Wednesday.

“South Australia in making this decision joins NSW in legislating to ban jumps racing but in fact, the only place that jumps racing is occurring in Australia is in Victoria.

“All the other states have either given it up recently or didn’t really take it up in the first place.

“Over time we’ve come to realise that jumps racing is not only uneconomic, it’s regarded by the vast majority of the public as cruel and does reputational damage to the broader racing industry.”

After introducing the bill in SA’s upper house, Greens MP Tammy Franks said time and again jumps racing had proven dangerous for jockeys and deadly for horses.

“It’s time to finally put an end to the carnage,” she said.

“The industry itself is ready for the end of jumps racing.

“Attendance is low, injuries and deaths are high, and while jumps racing accounts for a very small proportion of the industry it accounts for most of the bad publicity the industry receives.”

Queensland stopped jumps racing in 1903, WA in 1941 and the sport was banned in NSW in 1997.

The last race in Tasmania was held in 2007.

The SA bill will not prohibit South Australian trainers from training jumps horses to race in Victoria.

Nor does it affect show-jumping or equestrian events.

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