Animal groups protest at SA jumps carnival


Animal rights groups will protest outside the annual Oakbank racing carnival in the Adelaide Hills as they continue their push to have jumps racing banned in South Australia.

Members of the Coalition for Protection of Race Horses and Animal Liberation SA will gather outside the racecourse on Saturday, the day of the feature event, the Great Eastern Steeplechase and again on Monday.

Organisers have moved the steeplechase from Monday this year, a decision they believe will be popular with fans.

But the coalition says jumps racing is cruel and needs to stop.

"We saw Wheeler Fortune die last year at the Oakbank Carnival, yet another senseless death dressed up as entertainment," campaign director Elio Celotto said.

She said attendance figures had dropped over the past 10 years and if the Oakbank Racing Club wanted its carnival to thrive again it needed to rid itself of jumps racing.

The coalition said it would monitor jumps races throughout the 2018 season in both Victoria and South Australia - the only two states where they are still run.

Thoroughbred Racing SA chairwoman Frances Nelson and Oakbank Racing Club chairman Barney Gask will also speak about this year's carnival at a media conference on Saturday morning.

The Great Eastern Steeplechase will feature last year's winner Spying on You ridden by Tom Ryan.

While the Patrick Payne trained horse Zed Em is expected to start favourite.