VJA: Security needed for invaders

POSTED ON  |  23-11-2021

Racing Australia
Victorian racing clubs should look to tighten security at some meetings to curb the trend of track invaders according to the Victorian Jockeys' Association. VJA chief executive Matt Hyland said the two incidents at The Valley meeting on Friday night and in the final event at Penshurst on Saturday were worrying for his members given the potential for injury or death and that clubs need to be pro-active.

He said security might need to be strengthened at certain meetings with guards placed strategically along the outside fence to stop patrons from going onto the track.
  • "Eventually with these lunatics, one will run out in front of the field and then what?" Hyland asked.
  • "The clubs have to provide a safe working environment for jockeys and horses and the public as well and I am sure they don't want to see people running on the track.
  • "I am sure it is front of mind for them."
The common thread between the two incidents and one at Cranbourne in January 2020 was that the invasion occurred either late at night or in the final race of a day meeting when some patrons had potentially consumed too much alcohol.

In both incidents at The Valley and Penshurst, a patron jumped the fence and ran down the outside of the course as the field raced for the post. Hyland said none of the riders in the race noticed the invaders but that it was just a matter of time before an ugly incident occurred if the practice was not halted.
  • "We are now coming into that time of year with Christmas parties and the people that come sometimes aren't the usual racegoers and they don't understand the possible ramifications of jumping onto the track," Hyland said.
  • "If a horse shies away, you can imagine what might happen.

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