GOING AHEAD: Stanthorpe Jockey Club president Neil
GOING AHEAD: Stanthorpe Jockey Club president Neil "Chips” Brunckhorst with Emma Maidens and Hannah Reeves at last year's races. Glenda Riley

FORGING AHEAD: Drought won't stop annual race day

HORSE RACING: Despite conjecture and quizzical punters, Stanthorpe's annual race day is "all systems go”.

Stanthorpe Jockey Club president Neil Brunckhorst says he wants to put an end to rumours and concern that the calendar event would be canned due to drought.

"People keep asking if the races are on so we want to let people know that they absolutely will be,” he said.

"They've been coming to me concerned with the drought and the conditions of the track but everything is fine. We're going full steam ahead.”

October 19's big day, which generally attracts up to 2000 race goers, is in preparation phase with the track receiving regular upkeep, while the trackside facilities have been upgraded.

"We've built a new roof over the betting ring where the bookmakers go. It should make things a lot more comfortable for everyone,” Mr Brunckhorst said.

"The track is looking good, actually. It has a bit of green tinge.

"If we can fluke a bit of rain between now and then we'll be great.”

There will be plenty of colour and smiles on October 19 for the Stanthorpe races.
There will be plenty of colour and smiles on October 19 for the Stanthorpe races. GRiley

K&A Building will continue on as major sponsors. Mr Brunckhorst thanked them for their continued backing.

"Everyone is doing it a bit tough, not only the farmers, so for them to stay with us is really good.”

He's urging everyone to continue supporting local events.

"I see the council has been pushing events to still go ahead and asking people to come to the area and I think that's a great thing to do. That's what we need.

"You've still got to live and enjoy yourself.”

With much of regional Queensland and NSW suffering through drought, Mr Brunckhorst said country racing remained strong.

"Country racing is probably in as good a position as it has been in years. Especially with the support we're getting from the government.

"All I want to do is encourage people to come out and enjoy it - bit of a break away from all the pressures we've all been under.”

Crisps Coaches will still offer free buses to and from the track. Fashions on the field will be bigger than ever, there's live music and plenty of fine Granite Belt wine will be flowing.

To book reserved seating and/or lunch contact Jill Brunckhorst on 0408 814 930.

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