Pig Day of­fers a crack­ling good time

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Jack Lawrie Jack.Lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

RAIS­ING piglets to race may seem like a hand­ful, but Dar­ryl Zi­eth has found a way to make it work.

Mr Zi­eth pur­chased nine rac­ing pigs as piglets three months ago from a farm at Mt Perry.

He trained them up to com­pete in the Monto Pig Day Out, where they would be auc­tioned off and sold to the towns­peo­ple.

At first, the piglets were fairly wild, but he even­tu­ally man­aged tame them through pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment.

“I trained them ev­ery af­ter­noon,” Mr Zi­eth said.

“I set up a track at home and spent an hour teach­ing them to run to a con­tainer with food.”

“Ev­ery time they fin­ished a race, I’d give them a lit­tle treat like an ap­ple or a pear.”

Ever since last year’s event in­tro­duced many to the un­sung joy of watch­ing pigs race through a wire track, this year’s event was hotly an­tic­i­pated.

The day was or­gan­ised as a fam­ily fun day; in ad­di­tion to the races, there was a jump­ing cas­tle and fun ac­tiv­i­ties for the kids, and a bar and horse rac­ing TV feed for the adults.

De­spite com­pe­ti­tion with the Golf Club’s Come and Try Day, as well as a higher-than-ex­pected turnout at the Bowls Club’s Bras ’n’ Bowls event the pre­vi­ous night, the Pig Day Out had lit­tle trou­ble draw­ing in a large turnout.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a source of amuse­ment, the event is also used to fundraise for a cause de­cided on by the Race Club com­mit­tee. Last year, it raised money for the Queensland Can­cer Coun­cil, this year it was for the Ridge­haven and Monto Hos­pi­tal gen­eral care ward.

The auc­tion of the nine rac­ing pigs alone raised $1320, while an ex­act fig­ure for the day’s take is not yet known. There were four races – two place­ment races and two to de­cide the top and bot­tom fi­nal­ists.

In keep­ing with the theme of the day, the first two races were dubbed the Pickle Pork Gal­lop and the Ap­ple Sauce Dash, the loser’s cup was dubbed the Grunt ’n’ Run losers Plate and the fi­nal was dubbed the Roast Pork Cup.

The win­ning pig was spon­sored by Monto Cat­tle and Coun­try, and auc­tioned to the Monto Pun­ters Club.

PHOTO: JACK LAWRIE

PIG DAY OUT: The an­nual Monto Pig Race is a com­mu­nity high­light, this year rais­ing $1320.

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