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Magic Millions Polo & Showjumping introduces Queensland Off-The-Track Cup

28 October 2023

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Magic Millions has today announced the introduction of the Queensland Off-The-Track Cup, a new showjumping class at 90cm open to all off-the-track thoroughbreds and their riders who are broadly involved in the industry - an industry that contributes over $9.1 billion annually to the Australian economy, in direct and indirect benefit.

The new showjumping event class is intended to create an incentive and competition pathway for thoroughbred equestrian enthusiasts. At 90cm, the new competition class aims to be accessible and safe.

Magic Millions and the Queensland Off-The-Track (QOTT) Program are focused on creating exciting competitive opportunities for those who invest in the retraining of thoroughbred racehorses at the grassroots for equestrian disciplines.

“Those within the horse industry are the ultimate horse-lovers,” Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page-Harvey said.

‘We work with thoroughbreds whether it is in breeding, training, ownership or at the racecourse, but few people know that for so many of us we enjoy a life outside of work with retrained racehorses – showjumping, polo, dressage, and eventing.

“Horses are our 24/7 passion, and this new showjumping class is a chance for those passions to come together and be appreciated in a fantastic competitive environment.

“Opening it up to those 16 and over who have a connection to the thoroughbred industry is a huge participation group. We have deliberately chosen the height at 90cm in the first year, it is an accessible height, with the event developed to be fun, safe and exciting for those who love showjumping.

“Vets, farriers, racehorse owners, breeders, strappers, horse truck drivers, farmers who grow feed, jockeys, pre trainers/ trainers and re-trainers.

“So many people you know have a connection to this vital industry. Our showjumping class is open to you all if you have an OTT to compete on.”

In total, there will be 15 finalists who will compete for $50,000 in prize pool at the inaugural Queensland Off-The-Track Cup on the Gold Coast at the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo & Showjumping on Sunday, January 7.

With the support of QOTT and working with Darling Downs Jump Club in Toowoomba in November and Jumping NSW’s Sydney Summer Classic in December, Magic Millions is seeking to bring the entire industry together who share a love for the retired racehorse as a showjumper.

As a result, there will be two qualifiers conducted across the nation:

  • Queensland Off-The-Track qualifying round: Toowoomba, Darling Downs Jump Club November 26, 2023.
  • Magic Millions Sydney Summer Classic qualifying round: Sydney International Equestrian Centre December 7 – 10, 2023.

Racing Minister Grace Grace said she was delighted to see Magic Millions and the QOTT Program partner to present such an exciting event. 

"The introduction of the Queensland Off-The-Track Cup to the Magic Millions Carnival is the perfect way to showcase our retired racehorses," Minister Grace said.

“Thoroughbreds are incredibly versatile animals, who adjust quickly to new pursuits, and showjumping is just one of the many avenues they can pursue in their retirement from the racetrack.

“The polo and showjumping have become beloved events on the Gold Coast each year, and in January, we look forward to our retired racehorses taking centre stage and enjoying their post-racing careers.”

Michelle Lang-McMahon and Kathy O'Hara. Image: Magic Millions

In addition to the 13 finalists from the Queensland and NSW qualifiers, a further two wildcards whose OTT meet the entry criteria will be issued:

  • A Magic Millions Racing Women’s wildcard announced on December 6, for a female industry participant with the highest fund-raising total for Equine Pathways Australia by (money raised by December 1, 2023); and
  • A surprise celebrity wildcard to be announced at the launch of the 2024 Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival on December 1, 2023.

The QOTT Program was established in 2021 following the Martin Inquiry to provide a high-quality first transition for thoroughbred and standardbred horses from racing and breeding activities to retirement.

Since its inception, QOTT has launched five major initiatives including the Subsidised Lessons Program, the Acknowledged Retrainers Program, the Event Sponsorship Program, the QOTT Grants Program and the QOTT Clubhouse.

With the QOTT Program spending more than $1.3 million on its activities last financial year, more than $2.5 million is forecast to be spent in 2023-24.

QOTT Board Chair Dr Christine Johnson said they were thrilled to partner with Magic Millions to present the Queensland Off-The-Track Cup and to embrace the inclusion of a dedicated class for retired racehorses at the 2024 Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo & Showjumping.

“QOTT’s investment in equestrian sport has seen a strong demand for retired racehorses across the state which is pleasing to see, and also complements the work being done by the Queensland Off-The-Track Program and our network of acknowledged retrainers,” Dr Johnson said.

“The inaugural series will showcase the versatility and athleticism of thoroughbreds in one of the many pursuits that retired racehorses embark on in their life after racing.

“We’re looking forward to following the qualifying events and are particularly excited to watch the final here in Queensland as a celebration of all things equine at the Magic Millions Carnival.”

As an extension of this new showjumping class, Magic Millions is working with Equine Pathways Australia to demonstrate the combined priorities of the post-racing career of the thoroughbred and the welfare of both the horse and human.

Based in Victoria with services nationally, Equine Pathways Australia provide counselling assistance, support and rehabilitation to bring equestrian dreams to life for riders with an injury or disability. Equine Pathways Australia integrates appropriately retrained racehorses into their programs where possible.

The celebrity wildcard will donate their winnings to Equine Pathways Australia.

Click here for more information on the Queensland and NSW qualifying rounds for the Queensland Off-The-Track Cup, and to read the conditions for entry.

For details on when entries open follow Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo & Showjumping on Facebook or Instagram.