PARKS Victoria will continue discussions with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning plus the Warrnambool City Council, Moyne Shire and interested stakeholders regarding issues around commercial horse riding activities in the Belfast Coastal Reserve and Killarney Beach areas.
Parks Victoria District Manager (West Coast) Dale Antonysen said the discussions were on-going.
"All agencies have agreed to jointly explore options to manage the issues arising from this activity," Antonysen said. "This work is currently being undertaken and potential viable options are being explored. This area has important environmental values, including its importance as a breeding site for the critically endangered Hooded Plover. Public safety is also an important concern."
Warrnambool Racing Club and the South West Owners Trainers Riders Association are two interested stakeholders that are watching developments closely.
WRC CEO Peter Downs said it was working with all parties about the issue.
"We're working with everyone regarding the matter," Downs said. "The discussions between all the parties have been positive. We understand that safety and environment are key issues but we're working on some ideas which should be positive for all concerned. The beaches and dunes are key components to the success of the local trainers."
SWOTRA secretary Jane Baker said her group were working on a viable management plan for horses to continue working on local beaches and in the dunes.
"We've received some great ideas and support from all the groups," Baker said. "Our group is working hard to ensure that there is a great outcome for all parties. Horses have worked down at the beach for roughly 50 years we're hopeful that will continue for another 50 years but we are mindful of our responsibilities relating to the environment and the safety of people."
CHANGING environment appears to agree with Blue Viper.
The lightly raced five-year-old was too strong for Hell On Earth and Eljetem in a $30,000 restricted race for Warrnambool trainer Daniel Bowman at Morphettville on Saturday.
Bowman revealed after the win that Blue Viper had previously been trained at Caulfield by Henry Dwyer.
"Andrew Rylance from down at Timboon is in the ownership of Blue Viper," he said. "The owners on the advice of Henry wanted the horse to be trained at the beach so his issues could be managed. We've had him down at the Killarney beach working him for ten days before giving him a gallop over 800 metres on the course proper at Warrnambool last Tuesday. His work was strong I thought he would be hard to beat."
Blue Viper may head back over the border for his next start, according to Bowman.
"We'll just weigh our options up," he said. "Blue Viper is a lightly framed galloper. I don't want to push him. He's still learning how to race. We may go back to Adelaide but I'll just give him a bit of time to get over this run before planning anything else."
The victory was Blue Viper's third from 10 starts.
FIRST season jumper Deliberate may make the switch from hurdles to steeplechases before the end of the the jumps season, according to his trainer Jane Baker.
Deliberate ran second behind the Eric Musgrove trained Tremec in a maiden hurdle at Casterton last Thursday.
Baker said she was pleased with Deliberate's performances in his first season of jumping.
"I think he's got a bright future," she said. "Tremec goes pretty good so it was a good effort to run second to him. Deliberate has run second twice from four goes over the hurdles. I think he'll make a better 'chaser. I might give him a go over the fences before the end of the season. I think we'll go to the Ballarat jumps festival with him."
Meanwhile, Eric Musgrove said he will target Tremec towards the $125,000 Houlahan Hurdle at Ballarat on August 21.
WARRNAMBOOL galloper Our Bottino notched up his third consecutive victory on the Pakenham synthetic track on Sunday.
Our Bottino trained by Matthew Williams led the whole way in a $50,000 restricted race to defeat Distant Rock and Aurum Spirit.
Jockey Ben Melham said Our Bottino was now up to mid-week turf company.
"He controlled the race," Melham said. "He broke them up at the 600 metre mark and was just too strong. I reckon he's up to a stronger race now." The five-year-old has won three of his six starts over 1600 metres.
ANVIL Green retained his amazing winning strike rate at Port Hedland on Sunday. Formerly trained in Warrnambool by Colin Chandler, Anvil Green won his sixth race since May this year on the tight turning Port Hedland circuit when he got up in the last stride to take out the $15,000 sprint race. The six-year-old won races at Geelong and Terang for Chandler before being sold to Western Australian interests. Meanwhile, former Camperdown trained galloper Me Hungi ran sixth in the $50,000 Port Hedland Cup. Me Hungi's next start may be in the Broome Cup for Jackie Henderson, who started her career with the Wilde and Maher stables in Warrnambool. This Cat Rocks, who ran second in the Port Hedland Cup behind Devilish Intent is also trained by Henderson.
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