Bacchus Marsh Pony Club fears ‘eviction’

Pony club manager Jamie Harding and club president Simon Karp with some of the club’s riders. Photo: Supplied

Bacchus Marsh Pony Club could face closure if the club is not relocated before redevelopment starts at Bacchus Marsh Racecourse Recreation Reserve (BMRRR), according to its president.

Moorabool council’s plans to redevelop the reserve followed an analysis that showed a demand for more activity open space across the shire to cope with high population growth.

Drafts for the BMRRR masterplan and active sports precinct masterplan are now out and council is calling for feedback until July 30.

The reserve’s masterplan and active sports precinct will include a multi-purpose oval (including two soccer pitches and a cricket field), Australian Rules oval, a community oval, pavilions, carparking, change facilities, lighting, walking trails and passive recreation facilities. Land next door to the reserve has been set aside for the pony club.

But club president Simon Karp said members were concerned the club may have to close until the redevelopment is complete.

“Our concern is the staging of the redevelopment,” he said. “We’re being told we’ll be moved [to the new site] in about the third stage, but it could take years to complete the first stages.

“That could mean we’ll be unable to use our paddocks in that time and, effectively, we’d have to shut down the club for as long as it takes. That could be 15 years. We host the state championships and other big events so it affects a lot of other clubs, not just us.”

Moorabool mayor Cr Paul Tatchell said the council consulted reserve users, engaged the BMRRR management committee and held a well-attended community drop-in session and now council wants the community to have a say.

Submissions can be made at or pick up feedback forms at 15 Stead Street, Ballan; 182 Halletts Way, Darley; and Lerderderg library, 215 Main Street, Bacchus Marsh.