All the extra work to host the 2021 Bedgerabong Picnic Races within COVID-19 guidelines paid off on Saturday.
With numbers capped, tickets sold out well in advance of the popular annual country race meeting, which marked 102 years of racing at the location.
Wonderful seasonal conditions and the hard work of the dedicated Bedgerabong community saw visitors, arriving by bus and car, welcomed to lush green lawns and gardens.
The event has been months in the making, president Nathan Clarke said, beginning with discussions to ensure the whole group was happy with the decision to put the day together within the current health and event guidelines.
They initially planned the day with numbers capped at 499, restrictions eased in time to allow three times that number on course on the day.
Clarke paid tribute to the club's secretary Michelle Whiley for her work on the COVID-safe plan and ticketing, and the committee members for the sensational presentation of the track and grounds.
"Without the committee - their strength and commitment - the day wouldn't happen," he said.
He also thanked the sponsors, who dug deep even though conditions have really only just improved after a long tough time for many, to make the races possible.
The committee continues to work to grow and improve the day: Clarke said they added more marquees this year in an effort to grow the "picnic feel" of the day.
After a downpour on Friday night the track curators were up early Saturday morning inspecting the track, which held an inch of rain well - full report on racing in sport in this edition.
Solo artist Josh Maynard provided entertainment into the evening and Clarke said that too was fantastic.
"I think the crowd really enjoyed the performance," he said.
"The vibe that we picked up was that people were keen to have something to go to, and it's great that they were keen to come to Bedgerabong and support the day."
Clarke says he's hopeful other clubs will draw from their experience.
"I hope it will shed a bit of light on what can be done and give people confidence: it is possible," he said.
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