JUMPS racing will be stopped by the end of next year after horse racing authorities declared it could not be justified in the face of an increasing number of falls and deaths.
A review of jumps by Racing Victoria found trials of safety measures to make jumps racing less dangerous to horses and riders had failed.
Racing Victoria chairman Michael Duffy said the surprise decision to ban jumps racing was agonising but the industry's image and reputation had to be protected within the community.
''The recommendations of six previous reviews had been implemented without any sustained reduction in incident rates,'' he said.
The controversial decision has been accepted by the State Government and cheered by animal rights groups.
But the jumps industry and country racing organisations vowed to fight the decision, saying it pandered to the ''loony left''.
A new Racing Victoria review of jumps racing found falls had increased from 3 per cent of starters five years ago to more than 5 per cent this year.
The review also quoted research showing 65 per cent of Victorians believed jumps racing incidents ''are not an acceptable price to pay for the retention of the sport''.
Racing Victoria will run a transition program for the state's 31 jumps jockeys as well as trainers, with $1 million in marketing for the Warrnambool Carnival - which features the Grand Annual Steeplechase.
Warrnambool Racing Club said the decision threatened its three-day carnival, which attracted more than 30,000 people this year.
The decision has fractured the racing community, with Country Racing Victoria accusing Racing Victoria of ''kowtowing to the politically correct and loony left''.
The Australian Jumping Racing Association delivered an unprecedented attack on the chairman and chief executive of Racing Victoria and vowed to fight yesterday's ruling to terminate jumps racing.
''Michael Duffy and his CEO Rob Hines are clearly incompetent and must be replaced because they have once again failed racing, failed its employees and failed the public at large,'' AJRA president Rodney Rae said.
''How they possibly arrived at this decision to terminate jumps racing is staggering. But, trust me, through the courts or through board positions on [Racing Victoria] we will have this declaration overruled.
''They have devastated Warrnambool, they have fractured the incomes of people in Victoria and South Australia and we believe enough is enough. We will not stand by and let an incompetent group of men ruin 150 years of jumping history.''
The State Opposition also decried the decision, saying it would cost hundreds of jobs and threaten horse racing outside Melbourne.
Opposition racing spokesman Denis Napthine pledged a Coalition government would push for the reinstatement of jumps racing if elected at next year's election.
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