Deepwater Jockey Club has won the Community Race Club of the Year award in a state-wide competition.
In a ceremony in Sydney, it was given the prize of a crystal trophy plus $2,000 worth of insurance.
The club’s been going for 152 years and Secretary, Tricia Stack, said that involvement in it has grown and grown in recent years.
“We’re only a small village”’ she said, “and in the last few years attendance at the January race day has gone from about 2,000 to 4,000”.
In the 1910s, they got 4,000 race-goers but in the 1980s, numbers dropped to around a thousand.
But it’s since picked up. “We expect around 3,000 on January 20, 2018”, said Mrs Stack.
She compiled an 84 page history of the club and the races, complete with vivid accounts going back as far as 1864, and this may have persuaded the judges that the club has a strong role in the community.
It celebrated its 150 year anniversary at its annual Race Day on January 21 this year, though the exact year of the founding and of the first race is not clear.
It’s thought a race was held in 1866 and definitely on the same grounds as today’s races. Mrs Stack said that the club was founded at a meeting between the owner of the then new Deepwater Inn and the owner of the cattle Station.