BENDIGO Racecourse has been renamed after a groundbreaking sponsorship deal extension between the Bendigo Jockey Club and one of its major partners.
The track at White Hills will now be known as Apiam Bendigo Racecourse.
The new three-year deal, which includes the continuation of locally-based Apiam Animal Health as the naming rights sponsor of the Group 3 Bendigo Cup, marks the first time in its 155-year history the racecourse will carry the name of a BJC partner.
It comes as the club looks forward to welcoming back a Bendigo Cup day crowd for the first time since 2019 later this year.
The BJC facility is one of the last major Victorian country racecourses to take on the name of a sponsor, an opportunity that has been dominated in recent years by betting agencies.
BJC acting chief executive officer Sue Opie said racecourse naming rights sponsorship had become another revenue source for country race clubs continuing to seek additional funds to meet rising operational costs and to improve facilities for the racing industry, members, and the public.
"Having a local company that has been a long-term sponsor of the Bendigo Jockey Club as our first BJC racecourse sponsor is a perfect fit as we embark on this opportunity," she said.
"Apiam is rapidly expanding its services into the racing industry, and we expect that this relationship will provide additional exposure and growth for both our organisations."
Apiam Animal Health was first announced as a major partner and sponsor of the cup in mid-2020.
The Australian Stock Exchange-listed company had previously been a long-time supporter and sponsor of the club.
Managing director Dr Chris Richards said Apiam was pleased to be able to expand its existing partnership with the BJC.
"We are excited to be able to both extend the Apiam Bendigo Cup sponsorship as well as expand our partnership to include the Apiam Bendigo naming rights," he said.
"Our partnership will continue to provide branding exposure for our equine veterinary centres and Fur Life Vet clinics that operate throughout rural and regional Australia.
"Apiam has been actively growing our services to the racing industry over the last two years, having acquired three of the largest equine veterinary clinics across Australia, including the Bendigo Equine Hospital, which is located directly across the road from the course.
"We plan to further grow our vet services to the industry, including the current expansion of the diagnostic, surgical and hospital facilities at Bendigo which will become the premier centre for equine medicine and surgery in the state."
BJC chairman Jack Lyons said he was pleased to have a locally-based industry-leading ASX-listed company such as Apiam Animal Health as the club's first racecourse naming partner.
"The Bendigo Jockey Club has some fantastic initiatives planned over the three years of the partnership, and we especially look forward to spring when Apiam Bendigo racecourse gets the opportunity to showcase country racing at its best with the running of the 2022 Apiam Bendigo Cup," he said.
This year's cup meeting will be run on Wednesday, October 26.
Apiam Animal Health is a national business that is based in Bendigo and employs over 200 people locally across its head office, Fur Life Vet, Bendigo Equine Clinic and ACE Laboratory Services businesses.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.