THE Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour will this year celebrate a 15-year milestone, with the Melbourne Cup trophy set to visit more than 30 destinations in its annual trek across Australia and New Zealand.
To ensure the Port Stephens community have an opportunity to secure a visit from the 18-carat gold Cup in this milestone year, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will open the tender process early for the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour with submissions now being accepted.
Since 2003, the Melbourne Cup has travelled more than 456,000 kilometers to rural, regional and metropolitan communities across Australia and New Zealand.
“The VRC created the concept of the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour with the aim to provide communities without easy geographical access to the Melbourne Cup an opportunity to experience the magic of the trophy first-hand,” VRC Chief Executive Simon Love said.
“We never dreamed that the Tour would evolve into such a significant community event, which 15 years later, continues to grow in popularity.
“We are humbled by the pleasure the Cup provides to people of all ages, and want to ensure that as many communities as possible share the same unique opportunity again this year,” Mr Love said.
In 2016, the $175,000 gold trophy toured 34 destinations, providing schools, councils, hospitals, aged-care facilities and racing clubs with a unique opportunity to host a day of community events and raise valuable funds for local causes.
Past racing legends also accompany the Cup each year on its epic journey to recount some of the remarkable stories intrinsically linked to the ‘race that stops a nation’.
The 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour welcomes submissions from community groups, councils and racing bodies in rural and regional areas as well as capital cities, with successful destinations to be announced in June.
Each host destination selected makes a commitment to provide memorable and engaging community events involving the Cup for everyone to enjoy. Local fundraising initiatives will also be supported.
Tenders to be submitted at melbournecuptour.com.au by 5pm (AEST) on Monday 3 April.