Mans­field to cel­e­brate 160 years of rac­ing

Mansfield Courier - - TRADES & SERVICES -

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.

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