The Weekly Advertiser

Horsham and District Racing Club welcomes Sunday date for Horsham Cup

Connections of 2017 Horsham Cup winner Our Bottino celebrate their success. This year's cup meeting will be on Sunday, October 21.

CELEBRATION: Connections of 2017 Horsham Cup winner Our Bottino celebrate their success. This year’s cup meeting will be on Sunday, October 21. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

By SARAH SCULLY
Horsham and District Racing Club leaders hope the return of a Sunday fixture for their most important meeting of the year will attract widespread community and business support.
The Horsham club has worked hard to retain patronage after Racing Victoria forced it to host its cup meeting on a Friday for the past four years due to a clash in scheduling.
Since 2014, the club had heavily lobbied Horsham Rural City Council to replace its Melbourne Cup day public holiday with a holiday for the Horsham Cup.
Its efforts were counteracted by resistance from business leaders who did not want to lose a Friday trade day.
The council denied the club’s request until May last year, when councillors – despite a split vote – decided to switch the public holiday for the next three years.
Both the council and the club worked with organisers of a five-day Destination Horsham events program to offset negative results, but the new holiday was met with a mixed response, mainly due to confusion among traders and several schools still observing the Melbourne Cup holiday.
In February this year, the council decided to reverse the holiday change.
At the time, mayor Pam Clarke said the decision was a result of ‘a significantly adverse impact on the business community’.
“Fridays are by far Horsham’s busiest retail trading day and last year’s public holiday had a significant negative impact on our business community,” she said.
“The Horsham Cup is an important local event and we will continue to work closely with Horsham and District Racing Club to ensure its ongoing success.
“A successful race day provides substantial economic benefits for our city and we need to work together as a community to support the event.”
Horsham and District Racing Club manager Lisa Inkster said while club leaders were disappointed with the council’s decision, there was a silver lining.
“When the council changed the holiday again we went back to Racing Victoria and told them we lost our public holiday,” she said.
“Business Horsham had told us they would not support a public holiday on any Friday, so we were in a pretty tough spot. To our delight, Racing Victoria moved a couple of race days and gave us back our Sunday date.”
The 2018 Horsham Cup will be on Sunday, October 21.
“Now that we have our new date we are looking to rebuild again,” Mrs Inkster said.
“We will look at what worked for our Friday meetings and what didn’t, but to be honest, we didn’t do a lot different. We think we have the formula right and the Sunday will suit both us and the region’s business people.”
Mrs Inkster said the club would continue to work with the council and Destination Horsham organisers.
“We will have a catch up with the council’s new economic development officer in the coming weeks,” she said.
“I don’t know where Destination Horsham will sit with the change but once we release our date change in The Weekly Advertiser this week, it will get the ball rolling.
“Once the word is out we will start meeting with other groups to see how we can work together to create a successful environment for everyone.
“Another thing we are thrilled about is that Millers Civil Contractors and Plant Hire is back on board as our major sponsor this year and our feature race will again be known as the $50,000 Millers Horsham Cup.”

The entire April 18, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Apr 18 2018

Posted by on Apr 18 2018. Filed under FEATURED, News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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