Winner for future bush meets
BUOYED by a bumper crowd and positive feedback, Marburg Pacing Association president Graham Harriott hopes Sunday's Easter carnival kickstarts country harness racing.
Surrounding country areas like Fernvale, Glamorganvale, Haigslea and Marburg have long produced a wealth of trotting talent and breeding successes.
However, a restructure of the racing industry in recent years left many harness people unsure of their future in the sport.
Harriott said spirits of the participants were lifted when 700 people attended the first Easter meeting since 2009.
He was delighted with the quality racing on the seven-race program, featuring the $2000 City of Ipswich Gold Cup won by Rumsron.
"That's our focus - trying to get people through the gates," Harriott said.
"In this area, there's horses everywhere.
"We usually have five races but for Sunday we could have had 10 easy, with the number of horses that nominated.
"It (the Easter Sunday program) is on the calendar again for next year. It's been approved."
The MPA has two non-TAB meetings a month until June and 18 meetings scheduled in the next financial year.
Harriott is keen to see those Saturday meetings develop as the newly-elected government finalises its future plans.
Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat was a welcome visitor at Sunday's meeting.
Harriott is also eager for Sunday trials to return at the Marburg Showgrounds, which the MPA is licensed to use until 2014.
"Basically I'd like to see us trialling when we're not racing," he said.
"Our trials are a good base to get the horse numbers up - education of young horses and drivers."
Race 1: Farmcraft Trotters Country Cup - Our Poppa Jack.
Race 2: Rosewood & District Community Bank Cup - Dreams On Spot.
Race 3: Cr David Pahlke Patrons Cup and Prydes Eastfeed Easter Cup - Slug of Gold.
Race 4: City of Ipswich Gold Cup - Rumsron.
Race 5: Des Wallace Memorial Cup - Mishani Titan.
Race 6: Ipswich Community Easter Cup - Tijuana Turbo.
Race 7: Coolana Equine Breeding Centre Cup - Prince Assassin.