Cup saddles up after COVID forces a hiatus

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Jockeys take to the beach at the inaugural Rockingham Beach Cup in 2017.
Camera IconJockeys take to the beach at the inaugural Rockingham Beach Cup in 2017. Credit: Simon Merritt / Western Racepix/Picture: Simon Merritt, Simon Merritt / Western Racepix

The annual Rockingham Beach Cup could return to the foreshore this November and be handed $175,000 in funding if approved by the council at this week’s meeting.

In 2019, the horse race attracted more than 16,000 people, including more than 7000 visitors to Rockingham and injected $1.3 million into the local economy.

The funding for the 2020 event was approved by the council last year but the COVID-19 pandemic meant it was cancelled for the second time in two years.

The event did not run in 2018 because of the Rockingham Foreshore redevelopment works. This year’s event is set for November 13 and 14.

Rockingham Beach Cup committee chairwoman Donna McDonald said she was hopeful the funding would be approved.

“A similar amount was approved by the council in 2020 and the requested $175,000 is an increase on our approved funding of $154,000 in 2019,” she said.

“This year’s funding will see a return of all the excellent catering, activities and entertainment provided in 2019 along with an increase in COVID-safe operations and free or low-cost inclusive children’s activities at the Community Festival.

“Our aim is to again attract locals and visitors back to the beautiful Rockingham Foreshore to enjoy the only social horseracing on the beach event in Australia.”

Ms McDonald said a team of more than 100 local volunteers would be there to help out on the day this year.

“The Rockingham Beach Cup organisers look forward to bringing our community back together again to reconnect and building our community post COVID-19,” she said.

“The Rockingham Beach Cup aims to strengthen wellbeing, promote public participation and volunteering, and encourage reconnection after a period of distancing and isolation.”

Ms McDonald said a COVID-19 Risk Management Plan was in place to allow organisers to respond to all likely scenarios.

Rockingham Beach Cup in 2017.
Camera IconRockingham Beach Cup in 2017. Credit: Peter Le Scelle

Get the latest news from in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails