Following on from their stellar turnout at the Deepwater Cup, the local jockey club have added a massive award to their name.
The state’s best were honoured at the NSW Country and Provincial Racing annual awards presentation in Sydney last Friday and the Deepwater Jockey Club were named Community Race Club of the Year, beating out Gilgandra, Berrigan and Bong Bong for the top gong.
Around 4000 people turned out for this year’s Cup day on January 21 – up from previous years – to see local Glen Innes trainer Paddy Cunningham take out the feature race with Carry Me Gee Gee.
“Every year we do quite well, I have been secretary for eight years and the crowds come from 1500 to, 2000, to 2700 and then all of a sudden we really hit the big time at the 150th,” club secretary Tricia Stack said.
“Because we are only a tiny, little village of 300 people and for us to attract that many people here is quite spectacular.
“My personal opinion is at the next race on January 20 we will probably attract 3000.”
Combined with the large turnout, the club has been running for 150 years.
Aligning with the community aspect of the award, local businesses have stood by the club for years, with Attenborough Fertilisers, Sexton and Green, Crowe Horwath Accountants and the Deepwater Inn throwing their support behind the race day for in excess of 25 years.
“When I put the nomination in, I think something that's unique to our club is we have sponsors who have been with us for more than 25 years,” Stack said.
“That to me is spectacular, how many sponsors stay 25 years with a club?”
The non-TAB meet draws a diverse crowd every year and Stack said it is the relaxed atmosphere which will keep them coming back.
“It is quintisentially country - there is no gate, they come down a road past a tree and they pay as they come past,” she said.
“They are mostly young, 25-45 group and they stay on for the dance afterwards.
“I think they love it too because when we finish at 9pm they can walk across the highway to the pub on the other side.
“We do have security and police and it is always run very well.
“We did have news there was not one police incident for that crowd we had this year which was really a feather in our cap.”
For those who like to have a bet, up to 12 bookies turn up at the Deepwater meet every year.
The club dedicated the trophy to long-time member Alex Robertson-Cuninghame who died on Tuesday.
The win ensures the trophy stays in the region after the Walcha club took out the prize last year.