QRIC steps up regulatory presence at Simpson Desert Racing Carnival

23 August 2023

Racing participants should prepare to be tested anywhere, anytime throughout the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival as the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) steps up its regulatory presence.

Animal welfare concerns, prohibited substance usage and other potential breaches of the Rules of Racing will be the focus of stewards at the carnival.

QRIC’s race day stewards will have an increased presence at the Betoota Races this Saturday 26 August, the Birdsville Cup meeting on Friday 1 – Saturday 2 September and the races at Bedourie on Saturday 9 September.

Chief Thoroughbred Steward Josh Adams said QRIC’s race day stewards will be joined at the meetings by members of the Commission’s new Compliance Assurance Team (CAT).

“Participants should expect that QRIC Stewards will be testing anywhere, anytime throughout the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival events in line with our substance control strategy,” he said.

“Race day stewards will have the added support of the CAT, which has the ability to test humans and horses for prohibited substances.”

This year, the two-day Birdsville Races will have the same number of race day stewards as metropolitan race meetings.

Five stewards will be present at the meeting, along with two stewards from the Compliance Assurance Team.

Mr Adams said that the number of stewards at this year’s event is more than double the usual number who attend the Birdsville event.

“The Birdsville Cup race meeting is the main event of the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival and is a major date on Queensland’s racing calendar, with more than $260,000 prize money on offer,” he said.

QRIC’s increased presence across the Simpson Desert Racing Carnival is part of the Commission’s ongoing effort to decentralise its operations and stamp out non-compliance in regional and remote areas.

“The majority of racing industry participants do the right thing, and we know that those participants will be supportive of our increased presence in the Simpson Desert,” Mr Adams said.

“But for those thinking about doing the wrong thing, any amount of misconduct can tarnish the sport and it will not be tolerated,” he said.

If you have information about mistreatment of racing animals or wrongdoing within the sport, make a report through QRIC’s anonymous Report Something portal: Report Something – Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (qric.qld.gov.au)


Media contact: Vincene Overs 0472 842346