OFF AND RACING: The hotly contested women's Dangarfield sprint was won by Rhylee Wiedman at the 2018 Taroom End of Year Race Meet.
OFF AND RACING: The hotly contested women's Dangarfield sprint was won by Rhylee Wiedman at the 2018 Taroom End of Year Race Meet. Ann Alcock

Another terrific turn out in Taroom

AS THE year draws to a close there's only one racing event in the region left to look forward to.

The Dawson Jockey Club's second meet for the year was held last Saturday in Taroom to a crowd well in excess of 2000 people.

Committee member Melissa Hopkins said the End of Year Race Meet was the club's largest turn out to date, and although the committee did experience a few teething problems, the day was an out-and-out success.

"We are a very small committee, so this race meet really tested us and taught us a lot,” Mrs Hopkins said.

"The community really stepped up and came to the table in our hour of need, helping with selling tickets and getting people through the gate.

"The first race was a photo finish, with ten horses on the field, so it was a really great sight to see and a wonderful start to the day,” she said.

The committee have been putting in a great deal of work to bring the venue up to scratch in recent years.

"We have been really pushing to improve our facilities over the last couple of years. We've got a brand new jockey's room and ladies toilets, and we've upgraded our cemented under cover areas significantly.

"These upgrades are all thanks to the numbers we've been receiving at our race meets in the last two to three years,” Mrs Hopkins said.

"The next big ticket items to be upgraded will include the bar, as well as some Racing Queensland compliance requirements such as our horse stalls.”

The committee said they have always been conscious to spend profits made from the race meets on upgrades to the facilities to keep up with Racing Queensland standards, for both the race day patrons as well as the jockeys and horses.

Saturday's race meet was a particulary bittersweet day as the club paid tribute to a long time member and proud local lady, Marcia Carmichael, who sadly lost her life to Motor Neurons Disease (MND) in October 2018.

To honour Mrs Carmichael's love of the local races and her favourite colour the club requested patrons don a splash of red and ended the day raising $1000 for MND Australia through the sale of ribbons at the front gate.

$1000 was also raised on the day for RACQ LifeFlight through the sale of raffle tickets.

No Taroom race meet would be complete without a good old-fashioned bare foot track dash.

The annual Dangarfield Sprints were held after the five horse races were complete with Davy Armstrong taking out the men's sprint and Rhylee Wiedman dominating in the ladies race.

The sprints are generously sponsored by Dangarfield Cattle Co. with both first place winners taking home $200 in prize money.

"Hopefully we can take what we've learnt from this meet and use this knowledge to make next year's two race meets bigger and better than this year,” Mrs Hopkins said.

As for arguably the most important part of the day, fashions on the field, Taroom did not disappoint, with racegoers sprucing themselves up to the nines.

Olivia Lindley took out the millinery category, Roz Presho was the contemporary fashions winner, Toni Burke was the best dressed classic lady of the day, the best dressed teen was Hayley Knudsen, Cam Anderson was awarded best-dressed man and Gayle Menzies won the touch of red section, created especially for the race meet in Mrs Carmichael's honour.

For more photos from Taroom's End of Year race meet take a look at the photo gallery bellow.

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