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BIG RIVER CAMPDRAFT CLUB SCORES FUNDING TO UPGRADE ARENA AT HAWTHORNE EQUESTRIAN PARK IN SOUTH GRAFTON

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BIG RIVER CAMPDRAFT CLUB

BIG RIVER CAMPDRAFT CLUB SCORES FUNDING TO UPGRADE ARENA AT HAWTHORNE EQUESTRIAN PARK IN SOUTH GRAFTON

 

Big River Campdraft Club (BRCC) has been awarded $6937 from the NSW Government to upgrade the centre arena rails at Hawthorne Park Equestrian Park in South Grafton, Nationals MP for Clarence Richie Williamson announced at the annual Big River Campdraft on the weekend.

Mr Williamson said the current centre arena rails were in dire need of replacing to ensure all users are provided with a safe arena and was thrilled the BRCC had been successful in securing funding through the NSW Government’s Local Sport Grant program to begin the project.

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“Local grassroots sporting clubs like the BRCC are essential to the community, and this investment will increase both competitor and spectator experience,” Mr Williamson said.

“I thank the BRCC volunteers who made this possible as without their commitment and dedication to the sport, none of this would have been achieved.”

President of the BRCC, David Gillett said grants manager Lynne Hugginson had been working tirelessly to obtain funding to upgrade facilities at Hawthorne Park.

“The funding to begin replacing the rails on the centre arena is a tremendous bonus for not only BRCC but all ten clubs and their members that use the facility,” Mr Gillett said.

“The upgrade not only enhances safety but also improves the visual appeal of the arena.

“Hawthorne Park infrastructure is built and maintained by local club volunteers with the support of generous donations and grants.

“We would like to thank our local MP, Richie Williamson for supporting the community and investing in local equestrian activities.”

The Local Sport Grant program is annual program that aims to support grassroots sporting clubs to increase participation, host events, improve access and enhance sport and recreation facilities.

Mr Williamson said he will be announcing other successful recipients under the latest funding round in the coming weeks as he moves around the electorate.

“I encourage all sporting clubs across the Clarence and Richmond Valleys to jump online and subscribe to receive updates on when the next round of Local Sport Grants program open,” Mr Williamson said.

Further information can be found here.

 

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NAIDOC honour for Aunty Lenore

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The Reverend Canon Aunty Lenore Parker and the Very Reverend Naomi Cooke, Dean of Grafton after the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton.

NAIDOC honour for Aunty Lenore

 

By Tim Howard

One of the Clarence Valley’s best known First Nations leaders has been made an honorary Canon of Christ Church Anglican Cathedral Grafton.

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The Reverend Aunty Lenore Parker is a much-loved Elder of the Yaegl people of the Northern Rivers.

She is a lifetime member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC), and has made a significant contribution to the life of the national church.

Her installation was part of a special service in the Cathedral on Sunday July 7 which was a local highlight of NAIDOC Week.

Dr Murray Harvey, Bishop of Grafton, admitted her as an honorary canon of the cathedral to assist the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Rev. Naomi Cooke, with pastoral and missional work.

“Aunty Lenore is held in deep respect by the Clarence Valley community as well as within the Diocesan community and the wider North Coast,” Dr Harvey said.

“We give thanks for her ongoing ministry amongst us, particularly her leadership and wisdom as we journey towards reconciliation together.

“The special service featured ecumenical partners in Aboriginal ministry as well as Anglican clergy from throughout Grafton Diocese.

“Many travelled from afar to join us.”

The role of Cathedral Canon is a senior one within the Anglican Church involving both clergy and lay people.

They have particular responsibility for activities within the Cathedral and the Diocese.

Aunty Lenore is a highly respected First Nations leader within the Clarence Valley and beyond.

She has been extremely active in both her lay and clergy roles for many years.

Aunty Lenore’s appointment is in recognition of her previous work and an encouragement for First Nations leadership (men and women).

 

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Can Cepheus score South Cup hat trick?

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Maree Anderson, a part owner of South Grafton Cup winner Cepheus, celebrates in the Winner's Room at the Clarence River Jockey Club on Sunday.

Can Cepheus score South Cup hat trick?

 

By Tim Howard

Two-time South Grafton Cup winner Cepheus could make it a hat trick next year says part owner and former local Maree Anderson.

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The South Grafton girl, who was Maree Gorrie when she left her home town for the Gold Coast about 30 years ago, said there was no reason why the seven-year-old who is trained by Matthew Dunn at Murwillumbah, couldn’t make it three in a row.

“He’s just getting better and better at this distance,” Andersons said after Sunday’s momentous win.

Among the its syndicate of owners Anderson has established a bond with the horse.

“Not many of the owners go to his races,” she said. “I’m the only one of them who was here last year or this year.

“But I also go to visit him, because he’s close at Matt’s stables at Murwillumbah so I can see how he’s progressing.”

Part owner of South Grafton Cup winner Cepheus, Maree Anderson, leads him back past the grandstand after Sunday’s win. The former South Grafton woman has established a bond with the galloper, regularly travelling to Matt Dunn’s stable at Murwillumbah to check in on him.

Part owner of South Grafton Cup winner Cepheus, Maree Anderson, leads him back past the grandstand after Sunday’s win. The former South Grafton woman has established a bond with the galloper, regularly travelling to Matt Dunn’s stable at Murwillumbah to check in on him.

Through a rain-soaked 2024 Anderson was beginning to despair of his chances of repeating his stellar efforts of the previous year, where he was installed as favourite for the $3 million Big Dance.

“He’s a horse that likes the firmer tracks,” she said. “Because of the state of the tracks through the first half of the year, where it’s been really heavy, he’s done it tough.

“He’s had the heavy tracks and race meetings have been abandoned. It’s been a really disrupted campaign for him.”

She said it had only been in the lead up races to the South Cup that she though he’d turned the corner.

“He ran fourth in the Tattersalls Mile in June with Blake Shinn riding him.

“That’s the first time I felt confident about him coming here.”

But Anderson’s interest in the 2024 July Carnival is not over as she has interest in this years $75,000 Sir James Kirby Quality 1000m, race eight on Thursday.

The Terry Gollan-trained Osamu has entered and Anderson said she liked its chances.

“We’ve had a bit of a campaign on for the Kirby,” she said. “He’s a good horse and I think this race might suit him.”

 

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Champ back to defend South Cup

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Cepheus hits the line a neck in front of New Zealand galloper Cotohele to win the 2023 Grafton Toyota South Grafton Cup (1600m). He has nominated for Sunday’s race, which is a qualifying event for the $3 million Big Dance in November.

Champ back to defend South Cup

 

By Tim Howard

After a stunning opening day at the 2024 Grafton July Racing Carnival all eyes have turned to the running of the 2024 South Grafton Cup.

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Clarence Valley Jockey Club executive officer Michael Beattie said the excitement for this race has taken off in the racing community since it became an entry vehicle for the $3 million Big Dance.

He said on Monday that nominations had not yet closed for the event, but there were already 20 entrants for Sunday’s big race.

Among them is the Murwillumbah trained galloper Cepheus, last year’s winner and runner up in the Big Dance.

“Cepheus is back to defend his title, but I would say the main reason is to have another shot at the Big Dance,” Beattie said.

Beattie said the seven-year-old gelding looked to be in even better form than when he qualified for the race at Grafton and showed enough form to become one of the race favourites.

“I would argue this year he is in even better form than last year,” Beattie said.

“This time last year, coming into the South Cup, Cepheus had gone around in the Glasshouse, and run second in the Glasshouse, which was a Listed race.

“And he’d run fourth in the Eye Liner, which is also a Listed race.”

Beattie said Cepheus has not enjoyed the same results as last year, but has been racing in better quality events.

“This year’s he’s racing in two Group Ones, where he’s admittedly finished down the track, the George Ryder and the Stradbroke, but this time last year he’d only ever had one run at Group One level,” he said.

“There’s no doubt in my mind the horse is going equally well, if not better than last year.”

Beattie said Cepheus was likely to meet a stronger field in this year’s race, although it was hard to tell until nominations closed.

He said the opening day of racing for the carnival on Sunday, the Kensei Club Community Race Day, could not have gone better.

“We were absolutely thrilled to have enough entries to run a nine-race program,” he said.

“And we had a crowd comparable to last year’s, which was great to see.”

He said the CRJC had changed the format of the day, making six of the nine races a prelude to races later in the carnival.

“Essentially those horses that were contesting those races were here simply for the reason that they wanted to contest the better races later in the carnival,” Beattie said.

He said the winner of the Grafton Cup prelude, Full Press, was almost certain to run in the Grafton Cup on July 18.

“He’s a Coffs Harbour-trained horse so I’m certain he’ll take his place in the Cup field,” he said.

He said the strength of Sunday’s fields was a vindication for the club’s move to include more prelude races in the program.

“It gets trainers to think earlier about coming to Grafton,” he said.

“The best way they can guarantee they get a runner in the Ramornie, or Grafton Cup, is to come and win a prelude race.”

He said it was good for the punters to see these horses earlier in the carnival.

“They get a chance to see which horses are in form and follow them through the carnival,” he said.

Beattie was also pleased with vibe the carnival generated on its opening day.

“The first day is family day, there’s free entry and there was a big crowd down at the Westlawn tent enjoying the free entertainment,” he said.

“And the betting ring was, as it always is, very busy which is a great thing to see.

“There was just a really good feel for the day and that bodes really well for the rest of the carnival.”

 

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