Funds raised from the annual National Jockeys Trust cricket match are to be directed to animal welfare organisations supporting wildlife suffering in the bushfire crisis.
The NJT traditionally raises money with different events throughout the year to help jockeys and their families in need.
The eighth T20 match will be played at Williamstown Oval in Melbourne on January 20 featuring a Jockeys team against a ‘Racing All Stars’ side.
The NJT said the trustees had decided money raised from this year’s match would benefit animal welfare organisations in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, to assist in rescuing and treating injured wildlife.
“Due to unprecedented catastrophic bushfires around Australia, we believe there is a dire need for support, in particularly the animal community,” NJT chief executive Paul Innes said.
“Being an industry that relies on animals and our concern about animal welfare, the trustees have decided that it would be appropriate that rather than the funds coming to the Jockeys Trust, the funds will be directed to animal welfare groups around Australia to provide support for injured wildlife.
“We’ve lost so many animals, there’s been human loss and so many properties.
“While we will always need the racing community behind us to continue our work, at this time we simply cannot ignore the dire and pressing need to support those organisations working to save the lives of people and animals at risk.
“With animals being at the heart of our sport of racing, we have elected to redirect all funds raised from the T20 Cricket towards providing urgent care for animals in distress as a result of the fires in the coming weeks and months.”