Warrnambool Charity & Pharoah King Win 2008 Great Chase

Riding for the Disabled, Warrnambool, has won $5000 and the promise of more on the back of champion greyhound Pharoah King, Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Rob Hulls said today.

Mr Hulls said Greyhound Racing Victoria’s the Great Chase series, which pairs community organisations with greyhounds across Victoria, had delivered Riding for the Disabled in Warrnambool a much-needed bonus.

“Riding for the Disabled coaches children and adults with disabilities to ride horses,” Mr Hulls said. “It provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy, stimulating and therapeutic horse-related activities.

“Riding for the Disabled is a deserving winner and the Great Chase has provided them with the opportunity to purchase new portable fencing and safety equipment.”

Pharoah King beat seven other competitors at The Meadows today to secure Riding for the Disabled, Warrnambool, with $5000 and the equivalent of 10 per cent of the greyhound’s prize money for the next 12 months.

Second placed greyhound, Serbo Delight, won $2000 for Kalimna Cranbourne Support Options, while the Cunningham Street Community Residential Unit received $1000 thanks to third place winner Our Wilbur.

Riding for the Disabled, Warrnambool, President Peter Matthews said the money would be spent on portable fencing for the horses, new helmets, safety boots and games equipment. He said prize money from previous heats had been spent on day yards for the horses. “This series is a great promotion for the greyhounds,” he said.

Mr Hulls said in the past six years, the Great Chase had brought joy to many people with a disability. This year, almost 160 community groups took part in the racing series.

“Deserving community organisations from right across Victoria have reaped more than $116,000 through their participation in the Great Chase since it began in 2003,” he said.

“Each year the groups use the opportunity to raise much-needed funds, but the participants also benefit from fantastic nights out thanks to Victoria’s greyhound racing clubs which provide a welcoming atmosphere to all visitors.”

Mr Hulls said Victoria’s racing industry had strong connections to the community and this was perfectly demonstrated by GRV’s Great Chase Series.

“This series is a fantastic example of how racing can provide benefits to those members of our communities who are not always associated with racing and who have not previously been part of our racing family,” he said.

“Without Greyhound Racing Victoria and the owners and trainers of each of the participating greyhounds this series would not be possible so I’d like to thank them for their continuing enthusiasm and involvement.”