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$37,500 boost to complete Kerrin McEvoy statue

The remaining barrier to the erection of a statue in Streaky Bay honouring champion SA jockey Kerrin McEvoy was eliminated today, following an unexpected State Government handout.

Premier Steven Marshall this afternoon announced a $37,500 funding boost for the project, enabling its completion without the need for further community fundraising.

The Kerrin McEvoy Statue Committee was established in 2017 to raise funds for a life-size bronze statue of the triple Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, to be placed in his home town of Streaky Bay to celebrate his sporting achievements.

Committee chair Geoff Hull said those behind the statue were “surprised and extremely grateful” to hear of the donation.

“This donation enables us to finish the project sooner than expected, which is wonderful for the town,” Mr Hull said.

“And it will also be an added tourism attraction as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19.”

Mr Hull said the bronze statue would be a life-size replica of Kerrin, complete with saddle and riding gear. It is being created by renowned bronze artist Ken Martin, who was responsible for the Makybe Diva statue in Port Lincoln and other statues at the recently redeveloped Adelaide Oval.

Mr Hull said Kerrin has been advised of the donation.

“Whilst always humble in his achievements, (Kerrin) is honoured that the community has been so dedicated to their fundraising efforts,” Mr Hull said.

“(He) also thanked the Premier for the donation.”

The sub-committee undertook two major projects as part of its fundraising efforts.

A Melbourne Cup Lexus tour dinner and auction raised $29,700, while a Dancing with the Stars community event raised $33,200.

Mr Hull made special mention of the efforts of committee members Sam Kirby and Tara Brace for the tour event, plus Kerrin’s aunty Jayne Holland for the Dancing with the Stars event.

“(This) incredible fundraising effort would not have been possible without the effort of these ladies,” he said.

The Kerrin McEvoy Sculpture Project committee aims to have the project completed in the lead-up to the March 2021 Streaky Bay race meeting. The committee said the statue’s unveiling would be a welcome attraction after this year’s cup was cancelled just weeks out due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statue committee is a sub-committee of the Streaky Bay Racing Club.

In 2017 Kerrin was inducted to the South Australian Racing Hall of Fame, after having his first race ride at Balaklava in 1997. Just over three years later – aged just 20 – he became the second-youngest Melbourne Cup winner, saluting aboard Brew in 2000.

Kerrin is the some of son of local racing identities Phillip and Tracy, and nephew of Tony, Darren and Peter.

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