Whenever a sports event becomes extremely popular, it soon begins to draw attention from all parts of the world. This is often what happens in some of the equestrian events. An excellent example of this is the Melbourne Cup.

Melbourne Cup

This is an event that dates back to 1861, as an over two-mile race. In 1972, it was reduced to 1.9 miles. Only three-year-old thoroughbreds will qualify for this race, which is run once a year. It has evidently become so popular, that it is the most well-known race in Australia.

International Participation

With this race becoming popular it has drawn the interest of international riders, which means they must bring their horses to Australia. Those that have qualified for this race have to go through a quarantine period in their country of residence for fourteen days. Then they can be cleared for travel.

With so many international riders showing a keen interest, it is not surprising to discover that the 2018 Melbourne Cup was made up of a majority of foreign riders. While there have been many changes throughout the years for the Melbourne Cup, one of the most noted changes is the influx of foreign-bred horses. Their success at this race has been somewhat limited. The first time the Melbourne Cup was ever won by a foreign-bred horse was in 1910, by a horse called Comedy King. Since then there have been other foreign-bred winners.

Getting into the Country

There is a complex regime that must be followed for the horses coming into Australia, who are qualifying to participate in the Melbourne Cup, as well as other races. After their fourteen days of quarantine in their respective countries, they will go through a further fortnight of quarantine before arriving in Melbourne.

The Pros and Cons of Foreign Horses Joining Australian Horse Racing Events

There are pros and cons to this. One advantage is that it brings more attention to important races like the Melbourne Cup, and draws in more foreign spectators, which is good for the economy. For some, they say the negative aspect may be not enough home bred horses are taking place in the races.

Then another concern comes with the risk of equine disease being brought into the country, although there are strict quarantine practices in place. Some concern about the border security was raised by Peter Dutton, the Home Affairs Minister. Although there may be differences of opinion, one that all agree on, is that the Melbourne Cup is the most exciting race of the year.