90 sec statement - Country Racing in Indi - communities back a winner
Posted May 25, 2015
CATHY McGOWAN (Indi) (13:42): As you know, country racing may not have the glamour and the glitz of spring carnivals in Melbourne and Sydney, but they have much more in atmosphere and community spirit. My favourite part of country racing is the picnic races, of which there are six in Indi—in Alexandra, Dederang, Mansfield, Merton, Yea St Pat's and Yea.
The Dederang picnic races is a typical country racing affair. Held traditionally on the first Saturday in January, this year Dederang celebrated 150 years of picnic racing. Last year they won the picnic race club of the year. On average 3½ thousand patrons flock to the small town of Dederang. They have a ball! They spread out all around the track and have a wonderful background of the beautiful Kiewa and Mitta valleys.
Like many other country race clubs, the Dederang picnic races are run by a thoroughbred team of volunteers. They liaise with Country Racing Victoria, take care of track maintenance, including watering, which is a very labour intensive job in summer. They do the spraying and the cutting and look after the horse stalls. I am delighted to welcome to this House today two stalwarts of Dederang picnic races. It gives me great pleasure to say, 'Hello', to Bev and Neville Seymour and to thank them for all the work you do to make the Dederang picnic races so successful. On average $5,000 is raised at Dederang at this meeting. This money is used to help the hall committee, the sports grounds, the local hospitals in Mount Beauty and Yackandandah. Thank you very much, Dederang. Fantastic job! (Time expired)