Deepwater named Community Race Club of the Year

BIG CROWDS: Around 4000 keen race-goers converged on the Deepwater Races in 2017 to help celebrate the club's 150th year of racing. Around 3000 visitors are expected in 2018.
BIG CROWDS: Around 4000 keen race-goers converged on the Deepwater Races in 2017 to help celebrate the club's 150th year of racing. Around 3000 visitors are expected in 2018.

Following on from their stellar turnout at the Deepwater Cup in 2017, the local jockey club has added a massive award to its name.

The Deepwater Jockey Club beat off some big-name race clubs like Bong Bong, Berrigan and Gilgandra to be named the Community Race Club of the Year at the NSW Country and Provincial Racing annual awards presentation.

Around 4000 people turned out for last year’s cup day on January 21 – up from previous years – to see local Glen Innes trainer Paddy Cunningham take out the feature race with Carry Me Gee Gee.

“Every year we do quite well, I have been secretary for nine years and the crowds have come from 1500 to, 2000, to 2700 and then all of a sudden we really hit the big time at the 150th in 2017,” said club secretary Tricia Stack said.

Aligning with the community aspect of the award, local businesses have stood by the club for years, with Attenborough Fertilisers, Sexton and Green, Crowe Horwath Accountants and Rangers Valley Cattle Station  throwing their support behind the race day for in excess of 25 years.

“When I put the nomination in, I thought something that's unique to our club is we have sponsors who have been with us for more than 25 years,” Mrs Stack said. “That to me is spectacular, how many sponsors stay 25 years with a club?”

The non-TAB meet draws a diverse crowd every year and Mrs Stack said it was the relaxed atmosphere which will keep them coming back.

“It is quintessentially country - there is no gate, they come down a road past a tree and they pay as they come past,” she said. 

Club president Doug Stevenson said it was a tremendous accolade to be awarded the NSW Country Community Race Meeting of the Year for 2017.

“This was a fitting reward to our wonderful committee for the effort and work they contribute year after year,” said Mr Stevenson. “Deepwater Race Meeting has a 151-year tradition of staging an event that unites our community and the contribution that everyone makes is outstanding.

“Our committee tries to improve the races each year and considers that it is a tremendous event that caters for all age groups.

“The young have really embraced the day socially and this is pleasing to see.”

Mr Stevenson said there was a lot of work involved in a once a year race meeting.

However, he said he was backed by a wonderful, committed, hard working committee and a fabulous secretary/treasurer in Tricia Stack.

“These elements all result in presenting a smooth running, enjoyable day for all the race attendees,” Mr Stevenson said.

The club dedicated the Best Community Race Club award to the late Alex Robertson-Cuninghame.