The Gold Crown Carnival has been a staple on the Bathurst events calendar for the past 35 years, but this season there's a slight change.
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Typically the last Saturday of March marks the culmination of the 10-day carnival, however this year the final night will be held on the Friday, March 25.
Bathurst Harness Racing Club chief executive officer Danny Dwyer said the decision was made to change the date to avoid clashing with the Panthers verse Knights NRL game.
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The club also moved the final night in 2019 for the same reason.
"We didn't want to clash with another major event in town at the time," Mr Dwyer said.
"It was just a bit of changing some other race meetings around so the crown was the only meeting on that night."
Another change to the prestigious harness racing carnival is a well-received prize money increase.
The gold crown and gold tiara finals for the two-year-old horses has increased from $100,000 to $110,000.
There has also been an increase to the gold consolations, with the fields racing for $50,000 in stakes this year instead of $30,000.
Mr Dwyer said the increase is part of the club's plan to eventually run finals worth around $125,000 and build more interest in the already strong carnival.
"I think that's a good incentive to try and get as many horses paid up and keep it rolling so that we continue to get strong foal numbers," he said.
Meanwhile, one important aspect of the carnival that hasn't changed is the honouree dinner, where a person or family is recognised for their contribution the the Gold Crown Carnival.
This year's honouree is Ellalong-based trainer and driver Michael Formosa.
Mr Formosa has been a long-time supporter of the carnival and has won multiple events over the crown, including the Gold Crown Final in 2012 and the Gold Chalice Final in 2013 with talented pacer Ultimate Art.
Mr Dwyer is looking forward to the commencement of this year's carnival on Wednesday March 16.
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