The horse racing community will honour the lifesaving work that the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has provided to the industry as part of a luncheon to celebrate a new $1 million 1300 metre spring race.

The Rescue Helicopter was selected to be the beneficiary of the ‘The Hunter Charity Luncheon’ that will be presented by Australian Bloodstock in conjunction with Newcastle Racecourse because of the aeromedical support that it has provided to a number of jockeys involved in racing related incidents.

Newcastle Racecourse will host the $1 million 1300 metre spring race ‘The Hunter’ on 16 November as a stand-alone Saturday meeting that will be the feature in NSW racing calendar.

Australian Bloodstock Director Jamie Lovett, recognised the significance of the race and the opportunity to support a valuable community service.

‘Australian Bloodstock is proud to partner with the Rescue Helicopter at the inaugural “The Hunter Luncheon” to promote the first Million Dollar Race to be held in Newcastle. As proud Novocastrians, we feel privileged to be associated with such an iconic Newcastle brand that provides so much to our industry and to the wider community,’ Lovett said.

Service CEO Richard Jones OAM, said that he was humbled by the support of Australian Bloodstock, Newcastle Racecourse and Racing NSW. 

‘It is an unfortunate connection, but we are proud of our ability to support people that need help after experiencing accidents on and off the track. The racing industry is a valuable part of our region and with the generous support of organisations such as Australian Bloodstock and Newcastle Racecourse the Service can continue to provide support 24-7 to our community,’ Richard concluded.  

Newcastle Racecourse Chief Executive Matt Benson, hopes it will be a huge boost for the region and the Rescue Helicopter.

‘It’s a massive announcement with the $1 million prize and a stand-alone event it’s a major boost for thoroughbred racing in the Hunter. But it is also an opportunity for the industry to ‘give back’ to a Service that has been integral in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our jockeys participating in events throughout the year,’ Matt said.

‘For this reason, we are proud to host The Hunter Charity Luncheon in conjunction with the race and trust that the racing community will get behind the event and show their appreciation for our Rescue Helicopter,’ he concluded. 

About The Hunter Charity Luncheon:

Supported by Australian Bloodstock, Newcastle Racecourse and Racing NSW, this intimate charity luncheon is an event not to be missed, featuring the who’s who in racing, celebrating The Hunter $1 million race at Newcastle Racecourse. 

Join guest speaker, Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter V’landys and hear from trainers, jockeys and racing commentators on the eve of the $1 million The Hunter. 

Enjoy auctions, live music, best dressed awards and a Calcutta, with funds raised from the event helping to ensure your local Westpac Rescue Helicopter can continue flying 24-7 for those in need. 

DATE:  Friday 15 November 2019

VENUE: Broadmeadow Room, McDonald Jones Stadium 

TIME: 12:30pm  

INCLUSIONS:  Two course gourmet lunch plus a four hour beverage package 

TICKETS: $160.00 per person (tables of ten available).  Tickets can now be purchased at

About the Service: 

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service was established in 1975 and through community support and fundraising it has become a critical service that operates 24-7 from three bases in Belmont, Tamworth and Lismore. Today the Service delivers aeromedical search, rescue and inter-hospital transfers to care for communities from north of the Hawkesbury River, up to the Queensland border. Along the Pilot and Aircrew Officer, every primary response mission leaves with a dedicated NSW Ambulance Paramedic, NSW Health Doctor and depending on the needs of each patient the team may include specialist nursing professionals.

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