LUCKY HORSE: Bowen VMR Ian Patchett, Mark Brown Health and Safety Community Manager Evolution Mining Mt Carlton, Bowen VMR president Ian Shield, Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker and Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox.
LUCKY HORSE: Bowen VMR Ian Patchett, Mark Brown Health and Safety Community Manager Evolution Mining Mt Carlton, Bowen VMR president Ian Shield, Whitsunday Regional Council Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker and Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox. Jordan Gilliland

The horse you should be cheering for this Melbourne Cup

THE Melbourne Cup is fast-approaching and many will be placing their bets on their lucky horse.

However, regardless of your top pick for the race that stops the nation, there might be another horse Bowen should be getting behind after it was announced that the local branch of the Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) could be the recipient of a $50,000 donation.

The $50,000 donation forms part of Victoria Racing Club's charity Melbourne Cup sweepstake, which allocates 24 regional Australian destinations with one barrier each for the Cup.

The region behind the barrier of the winning horse is awarded the prize money for their chosen charity.

Bowen was allocated gate 19 when the Melbourne Cup tour visited Bowen in July.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the council, who was given the choice of which Bowen organisation to choose, picked Bowen VMR for their ongoing contribution to the community.

"It's a great organisation that will always have your back when you need it," Cr Willcox said.

"When you're out at sea, and your battery goes dead, you're not just going to be able to pop off to the shops and get a new one.

"Even the weather can be unpredictable, however, the VMR will be there to help you as well."

HELPING HAND: VMR services are integral to events such as the Bowen leg of the offshore super boats, as well as their daily help on marine assistance.
HELPING HAND: VMR services are integral to events such as the Bowen leg of the offshore super boats, as well as their daily help on marine assistance. Supplied

Bowen VMR covers the area from Cape Upstart in the north down to George's Point in the south.

The organisation is currently fundraising for a new rescue vessel and modifications to their berthing facility.

Bowen VMR president Ian Shield said if the horse that runs from gate 19 wins, they would be around $100,000 short of their total target of $530,000.

He said the longer the process takes to fundraise for the 10.8-metre long rescue vessel, the more expensive the boat becomes.

"There's currently a bit of lead time on the boats of about eight to nine months," Mr Shield said.

"We're not hedging our bets on the horse winning, but having that money would get us much closer to that final goal.

"Our current boat is almost 20 years old, which is quite long in the tooth for a rescue vehicle, and we want to keep serving the community for years to come."

Evolution Mining Mt Carlton general manager Anton Kruger said it was an honour to be invited to contribute to one of Australia's most prestigious globally-recognised events.

The gold for the 2019 Melbourne Cup was mined from the Mt Carlton gold mine, west of Bowen.

"We are excited to be partnering with the Whitsunday Regional Council on this event for the international stage, demonstrating that our region and its produce really are world-class," Mr Kruger said


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