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Finley takes over Berrigan race day

The new Finley Gold Cup will save Berrigan Race Club from financial hardship, according to secretary Bill Daly.

SOPHIE BURGE August 20, 2014 3:30am

Finley will host its first ever race meet next year after striking a deal with the Berrigan Race Club.

The Finley Gold Cup race meet will be held at the Berrigan racecourse on Saturday, March 21 and will replace the BRC’s traditional Ladies Day event.

The BRC’s offer was raised at the Finley Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry meeting held on Monday night last week and gained the support of all who attended.

The BRC said the partnership would not only assist the club with hosting its two other race meets each year, but also allow Berrigan to share the economic benefit with its closest neighbour.

Club secretary Bill Daly admitted the partnership would help cement three race meets a year and save the BRC from financial hardship.

‘‘We have three meetings a year with the Berrigan Cup (in November) being the most significant event, and most profitable,’’ Mr Daly said.

‘‘The August (Member’s and Patrons Day) and March (Ladies Day) race meetings have had a negative effect financially, and we are trying to promote these meetings by garnering support from the surrounding district.

‘‘If we want to retain our three meetings for the benefit of the wider community, we need that support.’’

Mr Daly said the BRC would offer guidance and support to the Finley Chamber in coordinating the event, and said any profits made would go back into the community.

‘‘The BRC is not focused on making a profit from the Finley Gold Cup, rather we would like to see the meeting get to a break even point.

‘‘If the Finley Gold Cup did generate a profitable income, then perhaps the Finley sponsors could nominate a direction to where the funds might go to. It might be a community group or club.

‘‘It would be great for the Finley community to support the meeting as there is an opportunity for sponsorship.

‘‘At our recent general meeting we resolved to invite a Finley community member to join our committee.’’

In endorsing the idea, Finley Chamber secretary Sue Arnold said the Finley Gold Cup would be an ‘‘event for all ages’’.

‘‘The Berrigan Race Club approached the Finley Chamber for support, and chamber fully supports the idea.

‘‘The Race Club will be approaching businesses for sponsorship and support on our behalf, and we would like Finley businesses and community members to embrace and get behind the event.

‘‘It will be a great social day out and March is a lovely time of year.

‘‘We hope to have lots of marquees, refreshments and fashions on the field.

‘‘This event opens doors to a lot of potential for a really fun and social day.

‘‘It will also give the community volunteers and respective clubs a chance to enjoy the Berrigan Race Club’s hospitality.’’

Initial brainstorming at the chamber meeting included bus services to surrounding towns and ideas on how to gain even more economic benefit from the event.

Post-races entertainment in Finley is an option to be explored in the planning process.

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