Louth the place for punters
Friday, 29th July, 2011
Next month’s Louth races could well be one of the biggest and best of recent years.
The August 6 raceday marks the 53rd anniversary of the club and there’s $57,000 in prize money for the seven races.
The club’s publicity officer, Liz Murray, said it looked set to break all records for a fabulous day of outback racing and fun.
“Henry Lawson, the bush poet who spent the summer of 1892 slaving away miserably in the woolshed of the massive Toorale Station, not far north of Louth, described the village as being a place that loved a drink, a punt and a party - and you know what, it still is,” she said.
“The club didn’t win the 2003 NSW Country Racing Industry Award for Excellence for nothing; they know how to organise one hell of a horse-racing party each August,” she said.
Louth is situated on the Darling River, more than 400km from Broken Hill, and its races are becoming more popular every year.
“There is definitely something hypnotically Australian about watching a dozen thoroughbreds thunder past under the whip on a drought-dry track with nothing but red earth, scrub and blue sky as a backdrop,” Ms Murray said.
The race day is on Saturday, August 6 but Ms Murray said the lead-up would begin several days before.
“Campsites begin to spring up along the riverbank opposite the village as well as in the campground at the racecourse where the hard working committee provide some firewood, toilets and limited shower facilities for patrons at a cost of $10 per person a night.”
There is no charge for camping at the track on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Wednesday Gundabooka Golf Challenge has more than 100 entries and just as many keen partygoers chip and putt their way through the nine-hole course with just one club.
The day’s festivities are followed by a hearty barbecue and charity auction, with proceeds going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The following night sees the hotly-contested Damper Bake Off at Shindy’s Inn, and the Louth Public School will hold an art and craft fair at 9:30am on Friday.
“There will be live music to entertain crowds till late at Shindy’s Inn on the Friday night,” Ms Murray said.
“’Tickle Me Chookskins’ will guarantee the saddling paddock becomes one big, dusty dance floor following the final race, as they play late into the night at the track.”
The town boasts a sealed and lit airstrip and there’s a courtesy pick up and drop off on race day, with catering available all weekend.
The racecourse camp grounds have a ‘bring your own’ policy, but no alcohol is permitted on the racecourse proper on race day.
People interested in attending can contact the Louth Turf Club on (02) 6874 7420.