Be quick: Limited race day tickets available for Saturday
THE Lockyer Valley Turf Club committee is looking forward to opening its gates to the public on Saturday for the first time since coronavirus restrictions were introduce.
However, locals are being urged to book tickets in advance to avoid missing out on the race day action.
Lockyer Valley Turf Club Secretary Tannyth Shackell said gates would open at 11am with the first of eight races at 11.58am and the last race of the day at 4.17pm.
Mrs Shackell said there would be “strictly capped attendance” – limits are set at 151 people to be allowed in the alcohol zone and 106 in the grandstand grass area.
“We’re limiting numbers and asking people to book in advance so we can keep a track of numbers and that way people won’t be disappointed.”
She said a race day was held last month, however, patrons weren’t able to attend.
Strict COVID-19 procedures will be in place on Saturday, including hand washing, social distancing and no shaking of hands, as well as minimising the use of cash transactions.
Alcohol will be served in the designated area with table service.
This year, the Laidley Cup – which was expected to attract a couple of thousand people – was raced on March 21, without patrons in the week that coronavirus restrictions were introduced.
The Gatton Cup, which has been cancelled for this year, had been due to be held on May 30.
Mrs Shackell said, “February 17 was our last meet with patrons so we’re very excited for the weekend. It’s wonderful just to be heading back to normality.
“We’re really excited to have our patrons back.”
She said the club had managed to stay afloat with support from Racing Queensland.
“We have had to minimise employees who weren’t entitled to JobKeeper and we had to reduce as much expense as possible so we could keep running.”
The club has a confirmed 15 race meets planned for the next financial year “which is exciting and will help keep us going”, Ms Shackell said.
“We’ve been given three Saturdays and a few Sundays, so we’ll be able to do a lot of community events.”
Race days, she said, were good for community morale and “the locals love coming down”.
“People just love to come and get together with their friends, have a few drinks and watch the horses.
“It’s a good country atmosphere and they’re close to the action. This gives them something to look forward to.”
Bookings for this Saturday (June 27) can be made by calling The Lockyer Valley Turf Club on 07 54622850 or online via the website www.lockyerraceclub.com.au where there is a link to buy tickets.
Articles contributed by Louise Shannon were supported by the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas.