The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the annual Melbourne Cup Parade on Swanston Street, but we weren’t about to let the tradition pass us by.
On Monday, 2 November the inaugural Lexus Legends Parade was held at our home in Greenvale. On a glorious spring day, five former Melbourne Cup winners – Brew, Almandin, Prince of Penzance, Rogan Josh and Efficient – prettied up and paraded around our magnificent rose garden in front of the Woodlands Homestead. The event was live streamed over Facebook, giving our fans in lockdown and overseas the chance to witness the wonderful event.
Those who came to the event were treated to photo opportunities with the champions, feeding them carrots and posing with the Prince of Penzance replica Melbourne Cup trophy.
It was a fantastic celebration for everyone involved, including the horses, who loved the opportunity to dress up and meet the crowds – something they have greatly missed over the year.
Having had such success, we are now looking to make it an annual event. Stay tuned to our website and newsletter for more on that in 2021.
There is $7.5m in prize money to be won with $750,000 donated to the winning owners’ charities of choice. A BIG thank you again to Racing NSW for this opportunity along with Allan and co-owners Aunty Robyn and Uncle Jeff for nominating Living Legends as their charity.
We are all cheering you on Alligator Blood! As a not for profit the prospect of this sizeable donation is incredible.
We look forward to you joining us live for the Lexus Legends Parade.
Through their victories at the track, these horses touched the hearts of millions, and became household names.
At Living Legends, our retirees continue their inspirational work in a whole new way. Living Legends was established to nurture the deep connection between the community and our racehorse champions and promote life after racing for all horses.
Be sure to tune in LIVE to meet these Melbourne Cup winning legends thanks to Lexus. See your favourite Living Legends on parade and enjoy a special Q&A with our CEO Dr. Andrew Clarke.
Register your interest by clicking on the Facebook event below to be notified when we go live:
Legendary Caulfield Cup winners 30 year young Paris Lane(1994) and 13 year old Fawkner(2013) with model Dani Shreeve and the 2020 trophy at Living Legends before tomorrow’s big race, frontpage in today’s Herald Sun.
#TomMelbourne has been seeing a lot of action recently in the paddocks at Living Legends as pastures are aerated, fertilized with #RapidRaiser, conditioned with #GoGoJuice and oversown with a mixture of 1kg of pasture seed to 20kg sand using the fertilizer spreader. Aeration to prevent soil compaction and provide better penetration of water and fertilizer deeper into the soil. Great job by Rachel and volunteer Neville with big shout Neutrog for their advice and donation of #RapidRaiser and #GoGoJuice. #lovethehorse with #bettersoil #betterpastures.
Each September we always look forward to being part of the MRC Foundation Raceday at Caulfield. It’s an important fundraiser for us and a great chance to get out and meet the racing community, and while it’s not going ahead with crowds this year there’s another great opportunity for charity partners like us.
Rather than raising money through attendance and hospitality, the MRC Foundation has launched a raffle for charity, and proceeds from the raffle will support Living Legends and a number of other charities.
All donations made to MRC Foundation in the lead up to and on the race day will be donated to all participating charities. Virtual tickets to the race day can be purchased through the MRC Foundation Raffle for $10 per ticket, and purchasers can select Living Legends as the charity of choice at checkout.
Over $7,000 in prizes are up for grabs, including diamond earrings worth $2,500 from Catanach’s Jewellers, a ‘return to racing’ Black Caviar Dining package, Godolphin Jockey silks signed by James Cummings, a 2 x pack of V16 Meshach & Shadrach, Vittoria Coffee Machine Gift Pack and a Treasury Wines Pack.
Living Legends has received a six-figure boost following its second annual Horses’ Birthday fundraiser, with matched donations passing the $100,000 mark.
The funding comes at a crucial time for the charitable organisation, which is feeling the financial impact of the double wave of COVID-19 restrictions.
CEO & Veterinary Director, Dr Andrew Clarke, said fundraising can be challenging even in good times, but the idea of asking the public for help this year was a daunting one.
“We were nervous about running a fundraiser in a pandemic, when we know it’s not just us struggling, it’s everyone. But in the end we had to try, because we know we need to do everything we can to ensure Living Legends stays strong beyond this current crisis,” Dr Clarke said.
In 2019, the Horses’ Birthday campaign raised over $91,000 and Living Legends set this year’s target at $80,000.
“Once we hit our initial target the donations kept on coming, and we’re proud and humbled to have raised over $100,000. The support we’ve received in the last few days demonstrates just how treasured our Living Legends are, and what our work means to the community.”
“A huge thank you to everyone who gave, no matter how small or large, everyone who tuned in and wished our boys a happy birthday live on Facebook, and everyone who simply shared the campaign if donating was not an option.”
“We’d also like to make special mention of our matching supporters – Sportsbet and 4CYTE – along with Racing.com and Moonee Valley Racing Club for the awareness raised through Saturday’s raceday and broadcast. It would not have happened without a huge team effort and this amazing result will help us weather the current storm and come out stronger,” Dr Clarke said.
Living Legends has launched its second annual Horses’ Birthday giving day as 1994 Caulfield Cup winner Paris Lane celebrates his 30th birthday. Now sharing a paddock with one of the youngest residents in Tom Melbourne (turning 10), Paris Lane is the oldest horse at Living Legends, followed by Rogan Josh at 29.
In a year that has seen past champions Might And Power and Chief De Beers pass away as well as the devastating effects of COVID-19, CEO & Veterinary Director Dr Andrew Clarke said there’s never been a more important time to ask the community for support.
“There’s no doubt we’re doing it tough this year, like many people and many charities are. We’ve lost at least six months worth of tour and event bookings, we made all the changes to recover from COVID and then the second wave came. It’s been a really tough year, but we’re determined to look to the future, work hard and raise the necessary funds so we can keep going and continue our community work.”
“Today’s Horses’ Birthday fundraiser is an important part of that process, to help us weather the storm and come out stronger so we can continue to share the joy of horses with people of all ages and all abilities,” Dr Clarke said.
The Horses’ Birthday giving day is being held in conjunction with Sportsbet, with all donations made today to be matched. Last year’s event raised over $91,000 for Living Legends, and with giving off to a flying start the target for 2020 is to raise $80,000 by the end of today.
The 26 Living Legends in residence have been divided into six teams, with supporters being asked to donate to their favourite team. That includes a Melbourne Cup team captained by Efficient, a lucky placegetters’ team captained by Tom Melbourne, and a team of Hong Kong Horse Of The Year winners captained by Silent Witness.
Living Legends is proud to be part of Open House Melbourne 2020, and on 25 and 26 July we will share the history and stories of Woodlands Homestead in celebration of our historic home.
Woodlands Homestead at Woodlands Historic Park, the home of Living Legends, is a unique and treasured part of Victoria’s heritage. One of the only remaining timber kit homes in Victoria, it was brought from Britain for retired Royal Navy Officer William Greene and his family in 1843.
For the 2020 Open House Melbourne program, we’re breaking convention in unconventional times and adopting new ways to stay connected, think, explore and encourage change. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we can’t welcome guests inside the Homestead, but that won’t stop us from sharing it with you.
With support from Hume City Council, we have a wonderful 5-minute video tour of Woodlands Homestead to share, exploring the history of the home and its surrounding outbuildings. We also have two podcasts delving deeper into the stories of the families who called Woodlands home in the 19th and 20th centuries, and a Facebook Live Q&A with Dr Andrew Clarke available to answer questions from the public.
Schedule of activities
Saturday 25 July from 8am
Open House Melbourne 2020 begins! All tours and information available on the Open House Melbourne website, including Woodlands Homestead virtual tour and podcasts.
Woodlands Homestead Q&A with Dr Andrew Clarke live on Facebook here. All content will be available through Open House Melbourne until the end of Sunday 26 July, then posted to this website thereafter.
About Open House Melbourne
Open House Melbourne is an independent organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in the future of our city. The thirteenth Open House Melbourne will present the largest collection of virtual tours in Australia, and an unrivalled program of free, live, interactive and on-demand digital content—in keeping with the true spirit of Open House Melbourne.
If 2020 has made one thing clear it’s that we’re in uncharted territory.
From harrowing Summer bushfires and the global climate emergency, to the impacts of Covid-19 shutdowns, we’ve been thrust into reconsidering how Melbourne’s built environment has been shaped—for the better and for the worse—through major moments in our past, present and soon to be future.
We are looking down the barrel of cultural, economic, technological and social disruption. We are at a tipping point of true change, and to succeed we must do things differently than we have before. Now is the time to look at things from another angle—to seek out new doors to open when the ones we’ve always known close. Now is the time to throw out old ways of doing and thinking; to take charge of our futures and build on what has come before to go where we haven’t been yet—together.
Former police horse and Doomben champion Chief De Beers has passed away peacefully at the age of 28, just days after being presented with a prestigious Blue Cross Medal for his service to the community. It follows a long illness that was first treated five years ago and had recently required ongoing treatment before he was euthanised late today.
CEO & Veterinary Director, Dr Andrew Clarke, said the much-loved Chief will be remembered fondly for not only his incredible racing story but his enormous impact on people and the community.
“Chief was only small in stature but he was big on attitude and spark and kept us laughing right until the end. He will be sorely missed at Living Legends and his unique achievements as a champion both on and off the track will be his lasting legacy,” Dr Clarke said.
Trained by Bill Calder, Chief De Beers had an extraordinary career with 20 wins from 51 starts, remarkably all at Brisbane’s Doomben Racecourse. He earned prizemoney on 42 occasions and was placed in Group company at five other tracks around Australia (Eagle Farm, Gold Coast, Caulfield, Flemington and Moonee Valley) but couldn’t win. At Doomben he was unbeatable, winning two Doomben 10,000s and nine other feature races at the track in the mid to late 1990s.
Chief De Beers was recruited by Queensland Police on retirement from racing in July 1999. He had a long and distinguished career including serving as the designated Governor’s police horse as well as search and rescue missions, assisting during bushfires and crowd control. He was inducted into the Doomben Hall of Fame while still a serving troop horse, before being retired to Living Legends in December 2012.
This year he was selected for a Blue Cross Medal by the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation (AWAMO) in conjunction with the Blue Cross Fund (UK). This rare and prestigious honour dates back to the 1900s and is bestowed upon animals in service to acknowledge their loyalty serving alongside their human comrades.
“It’s wonderful that Chief De Beers has received such deserved recognition as the recipient of the 2020 Blue Cross Australia/New Zealand Award. In addition to his extraordinary contribution as a police horse, ‘life after life after racing’ saw Chief become a very popular racing ambassador with fans of all ages from primary school students to residents at seniors’ homes. He encapsulated what Living Legends is all about and it is a very fitting honour,” Dr Clarke said.
“We extend our sincere condolences to his owners, the Greenup and Chapman families, his long-time companion Queensland Police Officer Belinda Worthington, and our team members who cared for him so lovingly every day,” Dr Clarke said.
Chief De Beers will be cremated and laid to rest in the memorial garden at Living Legends alongside past champions including Might And Power, Better Loosen Up and Doriemus.