Grandstand finish to picnic races

SCORCHING weather did not deter the crowds with Saturday’s Orange picnic races declared a success by organisers.

More than 1800 people flocked to Towac Park for the annual event and the reformatted day was a winner according to Orange and District Picnic Races Committee president Ben O’Halloran.

“It’s been a lot better than last year,” he said.

“Fashions on the field was really good and prize money was huge this year with $3000.”

In the fashions on the field, best dressed woman was Sarah Wilson of Millthorpe, second place was Nic Welsh from Molong. The best dressed man was Dave Browne from Sydney and second place was Andrew Caterson of Orange.

The best hat was worn by Miranda Boyd of Orange and second place was Kate Strahorn of Belgravia.

Rainy weather and a clash with the Australia Day long weekend for the 2013 picnic races resulted in a dip in crowd numbers at the annual event.

Mr O’Halloran said the picnic races committee decided to move the race date forward, introduce a free new lounge area and ensured more food was available.

The number of marquees was also reduced from 35 down to 15 due to a change in the available space trackside. 

“It means the people in the marquees can spill out and can interact with people in the Millamolong lounge,” he said.

“Potentially we’ll stay at the earlier slot two weeks before school goes back is a good time,” he said.

This was the first year the Orange and District Picnic Races Committee had decided not to support a local charity due to increasing costs.

Mr O’Halloran said the committee will discuss ongoing charges and the event’s future with Racing Orange and said he hopes to once again support a charity in the future.

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