Aug 31 & Sep 1

Birdsville Races provides a shining light for country racing


The Birdsville Races has once again proved to be a shining example of the impact of a success country racing event.

The Birdsville Races recently won Gold in the Festival and Events category at the 2015 Queensland Tourism Awards, just two weeks after taking out the Outback Queensland Tourism Awards for the third year running. It will now represent Queensland and indeed country racing, as a finalist at the Australian Tourism Awards, in February 2016.

Birdsville Race Club Vice-President Gary Brook said, 'the 2015 Birdsville Races was an outstanding success, breaking all previous attendance and participation records while generating much needed economic impact and exposure to Outback Queensland.'

The 2015 Birdsville Races attracted over 7,000 visitors to Outback Queensland with collective attendance over the two days of racing of over 10,000. This is the first time the event has broken the 10,000 threshold.

This resulted in over 68,000 visitor nights in Queensland and an economic impact of over $7m.

Off-track success was matched by the on track performance. The event achieved a record 121 starters across the 13 race program. Average field sizes were 9.3 starters per race, 16% above the average (8) for non-TAB meetings across Queensland

Brook said, 'the local community is immensely proud of the success of the Birdsville Races, the broader Simpson Desert Racing Carnival and what they bring to Outback Queensland. For many country trainers, jockeys and owners, it represents the pinnacle of the racing season and a much anticipated event on the racing calendar.'

The recently released report by Racing Queensland titled Tracking to Sustainability proposes significant changes for racing across the state, notably a reduction in non-TAB meetings and a reduction in prize money for non-TAB meetings.

Brook said, 'racing participation is at the heart of the success of the Birdsville Races. The industry must look to grow participation and we welcome the opportunity to engage with a new Racing Queensland Board as soon as possible. We are keen to work with Racing Queensland and industry participants to not only achieve sustainability, but to see the Queensland racing industry grow and prosper into the future.'