The tragic loss of 27 year-old horse Ace had Warragul community group Riding Develops Abilities reeling. With limited funding, the group thought it would be almost impossible to replace the horse, until a talented greyhound emerged as the group’s saviour.
Riding Develops Abilities have been paired with Dewana Result in Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) annual community event, the TAB Great Chase, which pairs community groups caring for the intellectually and physically disabled with greyhounds that run on their behalf.
After winning in dominant fashion at Warragul in the semi-final, Dewana Result is one of the favourites for the Grand Final to be held at The Meadows on Wednesday 3 September and the group is going to be trackside to cheer their new hero home.
President of Riding Develops Abilities, Les Davidson, volunteers his time for the organisation that helps local adults and school children with disabilities learn new skills with horses in a welcoming and friendly environment. He says that besides the potential purchase of a new horse, an upgrade to their facilities will be on the cards if they happen to win the Grand Final.
“We’re a volunteer organisation so all the help we can get the better,” he said “recently we lost one of our older horses and we are in desperate need to replace him but just don’t have the money at the moment.”
“It’s always tough trying to raise money for this type of thing but with the Great Chase we have been lucky enough to get some extra funds and if he wins on Wednesday it will be a great help.”
“Ace had been with us for about 10 years and was one of our most loved horses, we need to buy another one because we don’t have one that’s small enough for the children to easily jump on and off at the moment.”
Brendan Dewan, who trains Dewana Result, says he is proud to be able to help the volunteer organisation and that he admires the work they do.
“All the people involved with the group (Riding Develops Abilities) that volunteer their time to help people with disabilities are wonderful people and I’m happy to be able to help them in a small way,” he said.
Of the race, Dewan says that it’s up to the greyhound to prove he has the talent to mix it at the top level.
“Box four is a little bit of a concern as it would be for any greyhound but if he is as good as we think he is he should be able to handle it.”
The winner of the Group 2 TAB Great Chase will walk away with $45,000 in prize money as well as a $10,000 GOBIS bonus. The winning community group will take home $5000 on the day and the equivalent of 10 per cent of the winning greyhound’s prize money over the next 12 months.
The TAB Great Chase Grand Final will be run this Wednesday at The Meadows.