Mansfield to celebrate 160 years of racing
MANSFIELD will celebrate 160 years of country racing with a two-day ‘High Country Weekend’ extravaganza in April, thanks to a joint funding package of almost $65,000.
Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) on Friday announced the State Government is providing more than $32,000 towards the event through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund Raceday Attraction Program.
The Mansfield District Racing Club is providing $23,000 t owards t he High Country Weekend, and generous local volunteers are contributing $7000 of in-kind support.
Country Racing Victoria is also giving $2000.
Mansfield District Racing Club president Nigel Fish said the club was incredibly grateful to the Victorian Government for supporting it to host the High Country Weekend.
“This fantastic i nitiative will celebrate and showcase the region’s rich horse riding tradition, both on and off the track,” he said.
The High Country Weekend will begin with an Equine Art Show and Gala Dinner on Friday, April 7, providing a perfect prelude to the annual Mansfield Cup on Saturday, April 8.
In addition to being wined, dined and entertained with music by the Sassy Sisters, gala guests will be treated to an exhibition featuring the works of 40 talented finalists in the inaugural National Equine Art Prize.
The winner will receive an $8000 prize and a commission to paint the winning 2017 Mansfield Cup horse.
This year’s theme, the ‘High Country Horse,’ celebrates the region’s deep connection to thoroughbreds, brumbies, mountain cattlemen, rodeos, trail riding and draught horses.
The Mansfield Cup race meeting on Saturday will feature plenty of entertainment, including roving entertainers, an open viewing of the art show finalists and a host of fun activities for the kids including rides and face painting.
The ‘High Country Graze on t he Lawn’ precinct will include 20 stalls selling food, wine and beer from producers and providores throughout the region. Complementary shuttle buses will also run between the racecourse and town.
Additionally, the Club is also receiving almost $8000 in joint funding to build a new main entrance to the racecourse.
The upgrade will include turnstile gates to make it easier for patrons to get in and out.
Labour will be provided by in-kind support by local volunteers.
The Labor Government also funded $13,500 of a $27,000 project to upgrade the Club’s sand training track in September last year.
The refurbishment included cleaning and repairing drains, installing new water run-offs and rebuilding the surface with crushed rock and fresh sand.
“Mansfield is an iconic horse riding region and after 160 years of race meetings,” Ms Symes said.
“I’m thrilled to see that it remains as exciting and popular as ever.
“The High Country Weekend is a unique and innovative concept that will bring together the best of racing, equine art, local produce and family-friendly entertainment.”
UP CLOSE: Mansfield District Race Club will hold its first autumn race meeting on April 8 combining racing, food and wine tastings and a first time equine art exhibition.