WARRNAMBOOL’S 2012 May Racing Carnival was crowned the Country Racing Victoria event of the year at a gala function in Melbourne’s Convention Centre on Saturday night.
Warrnambool overcame five other nominations to win its first Country Racing Victoria (CRV) award, recognising an individual event that has performed the best against the criteria during the 2011-2012 racing season.
The win came after the club increased on and off course betting on the three-day meeting by more than $2 million, boosted gate takings and sold more hospitality packages to the famous carnival compared to the previous year.
Warrnambool Racing Club chairman Des Roberts said it was fitting the carnival had been recognised by its peers for lifting all its benchmark budgets.
“I feel the result is a great one for our members, sponsors and the local community. We are lucky to receive so much local support … The carnival puts Warrnambool on the world racing stage,” Mr Roberts said.
Mr Roberts, who is in his first term as chairman, praised Racing Minister Denis Napthine, the club’s former chairman Margaret Lucas and his fellow committee members for the win.
The Warrnambool May Racing Carnival is an internationally-acclaimed three days of horse racing with the highlight the Grand Annual Steeplechase, regarded by many as the most exciting seven minutes of horse racing in Australia.
the event attracts visitors from throughout Australia and overseas who make the annual pilgrimage to the city to embrace the event which is supported by an array of events and corporate hospitality.
CRV chief executive Scott Whiteman congratulated the club on its success.
“The judges had a very tough job working through the performance criteria of the six clubs who qualified as finalists,” Mr Whiteman said.
Former Dunkeld Racing Club president John “Jeg” Robertson was presented with a special achievement award at the night for his service to the club for many years in his role as president and committee member.