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WARRNAMBOOL City Council says it will monitor the beach at Lady Bay after the introduction of new restrictions for racehorses.
The council wrote to South West Owners Trainers, Riders Association members this week, informing them applications for use of the beach were available.
User guidelines were redeveloped with input from SWOTRA and the Warrnambool Racing Club due to an increased number of horses on the beach, as well as public concern.
They were implemented immediately.
“Council will monitor the beach over coming days while trainers become aware of and familiar with the new conditions around access to Lady Bay,” a council spokesperson said.
“There may be instances where, in order to avoid people or other horses, riders and their horses may need to briefly venture off the wet sand or back into the water.
“It will take a little time for all beach users to become familiar with the new arrangements which are geared towards balancing the needs and safety of all beach users.”
A Warrnambool resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he was at the beach on Friday morning for almost an hour and “only a couple of horses got their hooves wet”.
The guidelines include:
- Horses are only permitted on the beach between dawn (as per the Bureau of Meteorology) and 10am;
- Horses may only walk, trot or canter on wet or hard sand at the water line. Galloping or continual work on the soft sand is not permitted;
- Horses must work in groups of three at a maximum, with no more than seven groups with 50 metres between the groups; and
- Horses must be kept at a safe distance from other beach users and slow to walking pace within 20 metres of pedestrians.
Any breaches will result in penalties.