The An­nual Sport of Kings Race­day

Event @ Flem­ing­ton

Ladies in Racing - - Contents - Story and im­ages by Lisa Cof­fey

On July 21st, the an­nual Sport of Kings race­day was held in the beau­ti­ful Com­mit­tee Room at the Vic­to­ria Rac­ing Club (VRC) Flem­ing­ton. Event Di­rec­tor, Kerri Spil­lane, gen­er­ously do­nated funds raised from this year’s event to the Rac­ing Hearts pro­grams.

Rac­ing Hearts is the brain child of Lisa Cof­fey and forms part of her rac­ing ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices along­side the Vic­to­rian Rac­ing Academy. Rac­ing Hearts of­fers equine as­sisted so­cial and emo­tional learn­ing and men­tal health pro­grams for in­di­vid­u­als and groups of all ages. The unique ele­ment to th­ese pro­grams is that prac­ti­tion­ers work ex­clu­sively with re­tired race horses to ben­e­fit their clients in their ses­sions. The pro­grams also cater for rid­ers who wish to build their con­fi­dence. It is cur­rently the only pro­gram in Aus­tralia that of­fers as­sis­tance specif­i­cally to track rid­ers in this area.

Mas­ter of Cer­e­monies for the day was Sky Rac­ing’s funny man Shaun Cos­grove, who kept the laugh­ter com­ing through­out the day. We were wel­comed by VRC Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer, Mr Neil Wil­son and in­ter­views with spe­cial guests in­cluded world renowned vet­eri­nar­ian Dr. Glenn Robert­son-smith who spoke about equine wel­fare in rac­ing and race horse trainer Cindy Alder­son who gave a su­perb rec­ol­lec­tion of her fam­ily and her time in the rac­ing in­dus­try and my­self. There were also some fab­u­lous raf­fle and auc­tion items do­nated by many kind and gen­er­ous peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing Car­man’s, Am­bas­sador Travel, Sheedy Vi­sion and Sam­sonite. An­other very pop­u­lar item do­nated was a group din­ner for six peo­ple, which will not only be hosted by, but also cooked by the MC Shaun Cos­grove! Lisa said ‘I can’t thank Kerri enough for invit­ing Rac­ing Hearts to be the ben­e­fi­ciary of funds raised from this event. I’d also like to thank ev­ery­one who do­nated items and to those who were able to at­tend on the day. Rac­ing Hearts is cur­rently work­ing with sev­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions to de­velop free sup­port pro­grams for those who may ben­e­fit from Equine As­sisted Ther­apy. One of th­ese groups is Women and Men­tor­ing; WAM Ltd. WAM of­fer a unique early in­ter­ven­tion pro­gram that sup­ports women in their early in­ter­ac­tion with the jus­tice sys­tem as well as women who are at risk of of­fend­ing. We are work­ing to­gether to de­velop new ways we can col­lab­o­rate and pro­vide path­ways for th­ese women to de­velop and use pos­i­tive life skills. It is a very ex­cit­ing project.’ The Sport of Kings Event which is now suc­cess­fully mov­ing into its fourth year was again an out­stand­ing suc­cess with ta­bles al­ready booked for next year’s event. Kerri Spil­lane said “We were very happy to be able to sup­port Lisa and Rac­ing Hearts and wish her ev­ery suc­cess for the fu­ture of th­ese very spe­cial pro­grams.’

Lisa Cof­fey and Dr. Glenn Robert­son-smith

Vee & Trevor Rowe

MC Shaun Cos­grove with Lisa Cof­fey

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