- Melbourne Cup parade canceled
- The parade was the subject of protests last year
- The parade takes place the day before the race
This year’s annual Melbourne Cup Parade, a long-standing tradition where horses and jockeys are paraded through the city’s streets, has been canceled due to a growing protest movement against the race.
Organizers of the parade, which has taken place every year since 1983 except in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic, have not applied for funding from the City of Melbourne to host the event.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) chief executive Steve Rosich promised a “major event” would take place in the city instead.
“We look forward to revealing our plans for the Lexus Melbourne Cup Eve celebrations soon,” he said.
“We have a long-standing relationship with the City of Melbourne and our plans this year will include a major event in the city.”
Melbourne Cup parade canceled due to concerns over protests (pictured, Mayor Sally Capp at last year’s event)
Protesters gathered en masse at the parade to shout against the procession and hold up graphic signs in 2022
Animal rights activists have increased pressure on organizers to scrap the event in recent years, with noisy protesters doing their best to disrupt last year’s event.
Nup to the Cup protesters made their presence felt in the first parade since 2019.
They held signs describing horrific acts allegedly committed against horses and shouted “horse racing kills.”
A dramatic photo shows the city’s mayor, Sally Capp, sitting atop a convertible with the Cup, while protesters hold signs calling for obstacle courses to be banned.
Recent growing support for movements like Nup to the Cup has seen critics begin calling the famous race “the race that divides the nation”, in a nod to its famous slogan, “the race that stops the nation”.
The parade traditionally takes place the day before the big race, considered one of the most prestigious in the world.
The VRC received funding from the City of Melbourne to stage the parade in 2024, as it did in 2022, under the council’s Event Partnership Program.
Racing is in the midst of a renaissance with NSW trying to assert itself at the spring carnival. The Melbourne Cup is no longer Australia’s richest race since the launch of Everest in Sydneywhich will take place on Saturday, October 14 and offers $20 million in prize money.
The Nup To The Cup campaign has been strongly supported by Greens representatives at council and state level.
‘The race that stops the nation’ remains incredibly popular despite protests (pictured, winning jockey Mark Zahra celebrates last year’s Gold Trip victory)
The Nup To The Cup campaign was strongly supported by Green representatives
In 2019, a Green councilor attempted to bring forward a motion to remove council support for the parade.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift famously canceled her performance at the 2019 Melbourne Cup following public outcry from animal rights activists.
However, the singer cited last-minute changes to her tour as the reason for her withdrawal.
The VRC has been contacted for comment.