Racing to bring the cup to Heathcote
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 melbournecuptour.com.au 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.