1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero providing lessons on life after the tracl

CHAMPION: Subzero with owner Graham Salisbury and students Hamish Armstrong, 12, Georgie Kiraly, 12, and Monique Nichols, 12. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

CHAMPION: Subzero with owner Graham Salisbury and students Hamish Armstrong, 12, Georgie Kiraly, 12, and Monique Nichols, 12. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

SUBZERO'S racing career is well and truly behind him, but the now 28-year-old gelding has moved into a new line of work.

The 1992 Melbourne Cup winner's days at the track are over, but he was still a hit with kids at several Wodonga schools on Friday.

After a lengthy career as a clerk of the course, the star thoroughbred was visiting schools as part of Racing Victoria's ‘Champion Racehorse’ program.

It's all part of a determined effort to make Subzero 'the people's horse’.

RV community education coordinator Kerri Rees said teaching children about the kind of life Subzero has lived is a unique opportunity, even in country areas. 

“It’s all about providing the kids an opportunity to get up close and personal with a thoroughbred,” she said.

“We find that even in country areas, a lot of students still haven't touched a horse before, it's really amazing to provide that opportunity.

“There's also an education element to it, looking at horse anatomy, horse safety and horse health.

“What better ambassador than ‘Subbie’, he's very famous, he's done a lot of cool things that the kids love hearing about.”

Mrs Rees said it was important to showcase a different side of the racing industry, particularly what horses do once their on-track careers come to an end.

“We do place a lot of emphasis on equine welfare and longevity off the track, what horses do after their racing careers,” she said.

“While Subzero is exemplary, he has a very special role given what he does now, and not all horses get to do that.

“We try and use the program to try and promote people taking in racehorses for re-homing, equestrian and other activities.

“They're amazing animals, they're beautiful in so many ways.

“While they don't all have the amazing temperament of Subzero, we love to promote that equine welfare aspect of it.”

Subzero, along with the Melbourne Cup and ambassador Mick Robins, will be at Wodonga’s Caulfield Cup meeting this Saturday.

Gates open for the six-race card at 11:30.

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