Students win with equine therapy

Students win with equine therapy

10 September 2021

Events and initiatives

Alkimos Primary School wins again with hosting The Melbourne Cup Tour for the second time, this time hosting the 1984 Melbourne Cup.

Alkimos parent and her daughter holding the 1984 Melbourne Cup trophy.

Alkimos Primary School was chosen once again to host the visit of the Melbourne Cup tour, with a big event planned to bring together the students and local community groups.

Despite the impacts of COVID-19, Melbourne guests were still able to participate through a Zoom call to the student assembly, and the school instead hosted the 1984 Melbourne Cup trophy won by WA horse Black Knight.

Alkimos Primary School Principal Andy Gorton said it was fantastic to have the historical replacement trophy as the centre of the school’s celebrations.

“I’m hoping this exciting event re-energises our connection with the Alkimos community and to celebrate this special occasion, and to showcase our work in community health and wellbeing,” he said.

Joining the retired champion racehorses on the Alkimos Primary School site were horses from the Riding for the Disabled (RDA), Autism Horses Australia, to shine a light on the importance of equine therapy in the Specialised Learning Program - Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Student Heath patting Clyde, aka Scenic Blast, Australia’s Champion Racehorse 2008-2009.

“An increasing number of our students are engaging in therapies that go beyond those that we traditionally see such as occupational therapy and speech therapy.

“We are seeing treatments that connect more to the mental and emotional health and wellbeing of our students. This is something that is significant to many of our students, but particularly our SLP-ASD students.

“It is recognised that animals play an important part in this. Riding for the Disabled Autism Horses Australia plays an important role in providing these service to families,” Mr Gorton said.

Mr Gorton spoke on the competitive nature of being chosen to host the Melbourne Cup Tour visit.

“It is highly satisfying that the Melbourne Cup Tour organisers saw merit in our proposal that links the principles and intent of the Tour with our school’s celebrations around community and connection, our approaches to mental health and wellbeing.”