Racing to bring the cup to Heath­cote

McIvor Times - - LOCAL CLASSIES -

THE Emi­rates Mel­bourne Cup Tour will this year cel­e­brate a 15-year mile­stone, with the iconic Mel­bourne Cup tro­phy set to visit more than 30 des­ti­na­tions in its an­nual pro­mo­tional trek across Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

To en­sure the Heath­cote com­mu­nity has an op­por­tu­nity to se­cure a visit from the 18-carat gold cup in this mile­stone year, the Vic­to­ria Racing Club (VRC) will open the ten­der process early for the 2017 Emi­rates Mel­bourne Cup Tour with sub­mis­sions now be­ing ac­cepted.

In 2016 Kyabram not only staged a ma­jor car­ni­val around the ar­rival of the cup in its town, the event was an award win­ner in ma­jor re­gional tourism awards – and in the Cam­paspe Shire Aus­tralia Day awards.

Since 2003, the Mel­bourne Cup has trav­elled more than 456,000 kilo­me­tres to ru­ral, re­gional and met­ro­pol­i­tan com­mu­ni­ties across Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

“The VRC cre­ated the con­cept of the tour with the aim to pro­vide com­mu­ni­ties with­out easy ge­o­graph­i­cal ac­cess to the Mel­bourne Cup an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the magic of the tro­phy first-hand,” VRC chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Love said.

“We never dreamed it would evolve into such a sig­nif­i­cant com­mu­nity event, which 15 years down the track con­tin­ues to grow in pop­u­lar­ity,” he said.

“We are hum­bled by the plea­sure the cup pro­vides to peo­ple of all ages, and want to en­sure as many com­mu­ni­ties as pos­si­ble share the same op­por­tu­nity again this year.”

In 2016, the $175,000 gold tro­phy toured 34 des­ti­na­tions, pro­vid­ing schools, coun­cils, hos­pi­tals, aged-care fa­cil­i­ties and racing clubs with a unique op­por­tu­nity to host a day of com­mu­nity events and raise valu­able funds for lo­cal causes.

The 2017 Emi­rates Mel­bourne Cup Tour wel­comes sub­mis­sions from com­mu­nity groups, coun­cils and racing bod­ies in ru­ral and re­gional ar­eas as well as cap­i­tal cities, with suc­cess­ful des­ti­na­tions to be an­nounced in June.

Each host des­ti­na­tion se­lected makes a com­mit­ment to pro­vide mem­o­rable and en­gag­ing com­mu­nity events in­volv­ing the cup for ev­ery­one to en­joy. Lo­cal fundrais­ing ini­tia­tives will also be sup­ported.

The tour of­fi­cially com­mences in July 2017, be­fore the cup re­turns to Mel­bourne for the run­ning of the 157th Emi­rates Mel­bourne Cup on the first Tues­day in Novem­ber.

Ten­ders go to mel­bournecup­ and close at 5pm April 3.

PIC­TURED RIGHT: Bring­ing the Mel­bourne Cup to small coun­try towns dur­ing its 14 years of tour­ing has been a great success.

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