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Anti-Jumps Protesters Invade Warrnambool Track
Meanwhile a small group of anti-jumps protesters "invaded the track at Warrnambool yesterday before being escorted from the course by police as the 3-day jumps carnival came to a close," reported The Herald-Sun. One horse died on Wednesday but 2 more (Some Are Bent & Mephistopheles) "escaped relatively unscathed after falling" in yesterday's Grand Annual. The protesters went on to the track on the home turn "as the horses were going to the barrier to start the Grand Annual & were chanting & waving placards before Victoria police intervened". Australian Jumps Racing Association president Rodney Rae declared: "They were breaking the law. If they did that on a football field they would be prosecuted." (People trespassing onto the Melbourne Cricket Ground on AFL game days are liable to a $7,000 fine.) Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines said even though there was the one fatality on Wednesday (when Sirrocean Storm broke a cannon bone in a back leg early in the Galleywood Hurdle) the new hurdles & steeplechase fences were a huge improvement, noting: "We're going well; unfortunately we had one fatality yesterday but we're going to take a look at the way that hurdle was installed & see if there are any changes we can make to put a little more give in the hurdle. We think we can make them a little more forgiving. I think the new obstacles are terrific; the hurdles & steeple fences are far superior to the old ones used last year."