By TERRY WILSON
COONAMBLE bosses are rolling up their sleeves and making plans to ensure their hugely popular October greyhound racing carnival returns to the calendar bigger and better next year.
The western New South Wales country town district is set for a million-dollar revenue blow following the cancellation of this year’s carnival which was set to stretch over six days.
Coonamble club president Graham Pickering said it was a tough decision to call off this year’s racing but there is no way they are going to let an event which has been run since 1978.
“COVID-19 made the decision with the restrictions and everything,” said Pickering.
“Regular supporters can’t come from Victoria and Queensland and, no doubt, a lot of people from New South Wales.
“We had been in consultation with Greyhound Racing New South Wales and we believe it was the really the best decision for everyone.
“The district is going to lose a lot of money – I estimate around $2.5 million for the town over the week.
“But there is no way we’re going to let this die and we’ll be starting to plan for next year.”
This year’s carnival was worth in excess of $70,000 in prizemoney with the feature Maiden first purse of $12,000 a feature of racing which was to have covered Wednesday, Friday night, Saturday morning and afternoon and on to Monday morning and big finals on Monday afternoon.
Pickering said GRNSW had agreed to have the club stage two substitute race meetings on the Saturday and Monday, although they wouldn’t include any planned feature events.
“A few other things came into our decision,” said Pickering.
“It may not have been a good carnival if it went ahead with numbers down and those sort of things.
“We don’t want to go backwards from where we’re at because we have been successful over the years.”