Alan Jones Opera House

Victoria's dozen or so freelance horse racing photographers will no longer have accreditation to the state's hundreds of racing events, after Racing Victoria told them it would no longer grant them media passes as individual photographers from Saturday. The lack of accreditation, they fear, marks the sudden end of their livelihoods.

Five weeks ago, Racing Victoria advised freelance snappers of a rule change that would mean only photographers tied to established media outlets would be allowed to cover the races. Meanwhile, the body has set up its own agency, Racing Photos, which began operation a few months ago.

For the highly specialised sole traders who have built businesses off their knowledgeable photography of the industry, this was a devastating blow. Quill award-winning snapper Sharon Lee Chapman says she and the nearly dozen other photographers who make a living off race-horses were "ambushed".