It's well known that Bathurst is synonymous with racing. Whether it's cars, dogs, cyclists or horses, the thrill of the competition and the excited face of a champion draws crowds from across the region, and Anzac Day Soldier's Saddle Race Carnival is certainly one of Bathurst's favourite events.
Bathurst Thoroughbred Racing General Manager, Michelle Tarpenning, said that it was always amazing to see the great turnout for the Soldier's Saddle. "We have quite a few elements that come together on the day to make it very special," she said. "The day acknowledges and respects the past while allowing celebrations in the present".
At midday the Soldier's Saddle Race Carnival will begin with an official ceremony conducted by the Bathurst RSL Club, recognising and remembering all Australian soldiers who served and died in war. While the Soldier's Saddle offers a wonderful afternoon at the races, it is also a day on which we honour the spirit of the Anzacs, with qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice. The ceremony will begin with the Last Post and the Ode, followed by a Minutes Silence and Reveille.
Following the official ceremony the races jump and the entertainment kicks off for what promises to be a great day out. Races have been held at Tyers Park since 1959 with the Soldier's Saddle marking 60 years of horse racing the the popular track. The feature race, the Bathurst RSL Club Soldier's Saddle which is run over 1400 metres, has seen a strong field of 18 horses nominate to see who can take out the main event and claim their share of $32,000 in prize money.
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There will be plenty for the crowds to enjoy including the ever popular two-up being held throughout the afternoon, food stalls, entertainment and plenty of live music. A line-up of top local talent. Local favourite Clancy Pye will be showcasing his skills from 12pm, while popular band the Mud Monkeys will be on hand to get the crowd on their feet and dancing from 2.30pm.
The Fashions on the Field competition are back once again with bigger and better prizes. Categories include Elegant Classic Lady, Best Classic Dressed Man, Contemporary Lady and Contemporary Best Man that will highlight a stunning array of autumn wear and accessories. There is plenty of prize money and other goodies up for grabs, while the four category winners will go into the draw to win a trip for two to the Gold Coast. Final judging takes place at 3pm so make sure you frock up or suit up, grab your fascinators and ties, and enter for your chance to win.
Gates to the Soldier's Saddle Race Carnival open at 11am with tickets just $20 for an adult, while children under 18 are free. Courtesy buses start at midday and will run throughout the day every twenty minutes, from Bathurst RSL to Tyers Park. For more information visit www.btracing.com.au.