Day At The Track

Burnie Harness Cup retains country spirit

07:32 AM 13 Jan 2018 NZDT
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Up to 3000 people are expected to attend the Burnie Harness Cup on Sunday. The event is typically family-friendly with entertainment for children and an affordable entry fee. A family-friendly day of country racing is what can be expected at th

A family-friendly day of country harness racing is what can be expected at the Burnie Harness Cup on Sunday.

Burnie Harness Racing Club president Mark Summers said he was expecting about 3000 people to turn out to the meeting.

“Under lights, it’s quite a spectacle,” he said.

This will be the third Burnie Harness Cup to be televised in the evening time slot, a move that Mr Summers said has boosted the attendance and quality of the field.

“If anybody’s seen it on Sky Racing 1 on the television when people are coming back towards the home straight there is a shot of the bass strait and it’s quite picturesque.”

The Burnie Harness Racing Club is a small but financially stable club that relies on food sales on race day and club facilities to make money rather than membership fees.

“We made a significant contribution to the installation of lights and we like to make an extra contribution to the stakes over and above the prize money,” Mr Summers said.

The stakes for the main race will be $12,000.

The Burnie Harness Cup race will be the fourth race and will start at 7.30pm.

Two North-West horses will be running in the 10 field race.

Mr Summers’ pick was Full Speed Ahead as it recently won the Scottsdale Cup and came equal first in the St Mary’s Cup.

“But the field is very very even and anything could win,” he said.

Off the track, there will be plenty to keep families occupied.

Children will have the opportunity to enter the junior section of fashions on the field before the senior competition gets underway.

For the first time there will be a people’s choice award in the fashions on the field voted by spectators for a gold coin donation for charity.

It will also be the first time that the first two place getters in the racewear competition will go on to compete at a final in Launceston for a $6000 travel voucher.

Cam Wyndan will be providing live musical entertainment between races and a barbecue and sit-down dining will be on offer during the meeting.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a partly cloudy day with a low chance of rain for Sunday.

Mr Summers said at the end of the day, it was all about the horses.

“There’s nothing better than a well-cared-for horse.”

Gates will open at Wivenhoe showground at 4pm.

Fashions on the field registration starts at 4.15pm with the judging beginning at 5pm.

The first race is set to start at 5.50pm.

Entry costs $5 at the door for adults and $3 for concessions. 

Sarah Lansdown

Reprinted with permission of The Advocate

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