OUR SAY: Carnival a collective effort
IT TAKES a whole community effort to pull the strings together to make the July Racing Carnival even happen - let alone rise to the occasion and become a rip-roaring success.
The likes of Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie, chairman Graeme Green, the club's directors and office ladies work tirelessly all-year round to ensure the highly logistical operation runs smoothly. Likewise racecourse manager Drew Cookson, hospitality and events manager Wayne Phillips and their staff.
But it all steps up a notch in the lead up to the carnival, and none work harder than during race week itself. As thousands play, there's countless people behind the scenes making sure those thousands are entertained, fed and refreshed.
Meanwhile the barrier attendants, course maintenance personnel and veterinarians join the race caller, jockeys, trainers, strappers, racing stewards, bookmakers and media outlets to produce the spectacle on the track.
None of it would happen without the financial backing and support of race and event sponsors, the racing industry and perhaps most importantly the horse owners themselves, who keep trainers in a job and turn up to deliver the carnival atmosphere to Grafton.
The benefit to the local economy is far-reaching, from accommodation to retail, while restaurants and bars all come alive in July.
So hats off to all involved in another successful July Racing Carnival, which wraps up with Kids Fashions and the Maclean Cup this Sunday.