Southern District and South East racing fans could be in for a quite spring with Covid-19 potentially causing carnage for many once-a-year race clubs.
The annual Adaminaby Cup that was scheduled for November 21 has already been cancelled after a landmark committee member on Saturday afternoon, and it could prove to be the first of many local meetings to fall by the wayside.
Adaminaby Races president Lynley Miners said that current restrictions around Covid-19 made it impossible for the volunteer committee to get their meeting off the ground safely.
“With all the restrictions going on and the social distancing; we just can’t comply at all,” Miners said.
“Our jockey’s rooms are very small and with so many jockeys in there, we can’t comply with social distancing and it is the same with the steward’s room.”
Miner said the pavilion and bar were also unmanageable areas, especially if a crowd of 2000 or more streamed through the gates, similar to previous years.
“The pavilion is a good pavilion but it is small, and the bar area hasn’t got much room to sit and with people needing to sit once they’ve bought their beer, we can’t comply by any means,” Miners said.
Another major reason why Adaminaby made the early decision to cancel was to alleviate the stress on community, including the pubs and clubs who would normally be inundated with guests over the Adaminaby Cup weekend.
“When people are finished, they go up town and we don’t need to put that pressure on the pubs, clubs and the whole community and other towns nearby,” Miners said.
Additionally, sponsors and annual race goers, who had already committed to the 2020 meeting, were strongly considered when making the tough decision.
“I don’t want to go to a sponsor in the community and say we can only have half the crowd, plus a lot of people have made bookings and we don’t want them hung out the dry either,” Miners said.
Miners and the Adaminaby Races committee hope their huge following keep tabs on their social media pages going forward though, as they prepare for a massive 2021 meeting.
“Like Tumut and Gundagai, it’s a great day and we drag people from all over the world, some who keep coming and supporting the place,” Miners said.
“The best thing we can do is cancel now and let’s prepare for next to year to be the biggest race day yet.”
The cancellation of the Adaminaby Cup so early in proceedings now leaves a shadow hanging over the future of the Gundagai’s Snake Gully Cup carnival in November and Tumut Turf Club’s Boxing Day meeting.