John Bryant and Christina Budur, from Brisbane, were popular runners-up in the Best Dresssed Couple section of this year’s Fashions Of The Field competition at Burrandowan

May 15, 2017

Rain in Kingaroy on Saturday morning failed to deter many racegoers from attending the Burrandowan Picnic Races, and their faith was rewarded with a fine day’s weather and all the fun of the South Burnett’s oldest race meeting.

This year the Burrandowan Picnic Races celebrated their 95th anniversary, and the bush race track quickly began to fill from 11:00am onwards.

Some guests were so eager to attend they took advantage of free camping on the site to stay over – many for several days – while others took one of several buses that deposited hundreds of revellers at the front gates.

Race Club secretary Carolyn Stone said she was concerned rain in other parts of the region might deter visitors making the 60km trek to the course, and she had put out the word on local media and social media early Saturday morning to say things were proceeding as normal.

But as the morning wore on and it became evident Burrandowan was going to enjoy a fine, partly cloudy day and that rain hadn’t turned any of the gravel roads that lead to the racetrack into bogs, that concern quickly turned to relief.

As things turned out, the crowds at the course were probably equal to the numbers that came through the gates last year, and may have been even higher.

The race club’s canteen, wine and cheese bar, merchandise shop and bush bar did a rip-roaring trade all day, and local service clubs were kept busy serving barbecued foodstuffs all day, too.

Many racegoers took advantage of pre-packed hampers they’d had the foresight to order before race day, while others took their pre-booked seats at the High Tea held in Burrandowan’s Hall for a taste of days gone by.

The betting ring was also busily abuzz as punters scanned their race books in search of a winner.

The Fashions Of The Field competition on a brightly decorated stage set up next to the Hall was a focal point for many racegoers, all eager to see contestants in the four categories – Classic Lady, Best Couple, Contemporary Lady and Best Dressed Gentleman – strut their stuff on the catwalk.

And this year’s competition didn’t disappoint, with a large number of elegantly attired men, women and couples vying to win a large selection of prizes donated by Race Club sponsors.

After the last race, the pit-fired barbecues that had been burning all afternoon swung into action for the evening’s steak dinners, followed by entertainment from Misfitz and the Redsell Brothers that lasted well into the night.

While it will probably be a few days before race club officials tally up all the day’s visitor numbers and takings, RACQ LifeFlight should be very happy with the outcome, too.

They’re the beneficiaries of this year’s event, which raises money for worthy community causes.

Related articles:

Tyler Champney, Andrew Saal, Rebecca Scott and Rosemary Van De Weem, all from Kingaroy, were ready to have fun at the track
Burrandowan Race Club secretary Carolyn Stone was relieved that morning rain in Kingaroy completely missed the track; race day is one of the few days rain is unwelcome at Burrandowan
Nina Page and Katrina Woods accompanied Burrandowan legends Isaiah Woods and Jacob Page to the track; Isaiah and Jacob are famous for the eye-popping suits they buy for each year’s meeting
Toya Smith, from Toowoomba, and Eliza Icke, from Woombye on the Sunshine Coast, took top honours in the Classic Ladies section of this year’s Burrandowan fashion competition
Eliza Icke on the catwalk …
… and Toya Smith from Toowoomba
Classic country elegance …
… relaxed country style
Damien Tessmann, from Coolabunia, and Hannah Leu, from Haly Creek, took out the top prize in the Best Dressed Couples section
Donna Dingle, from ‘Goomaram’ via Abercorn, and Amy Smoothy, from Mackay, were this year’s best-dressed Contemporary Ladies on the field
Mitchell Clark, from Kingaroy, and Daniel Retschlag, from Wondai, won the Best Dressed Gentleman category with their suave mixture of South Burnett rural and urban styles
Snr Const Adam Entwistle (Kumbia), Snr Const Damian Corsan (Nanango), Sgt Sean Relf (Yarraman) and Snr Const Chris Hay (Peranga) with Cr Ros Heit; police said they were generally pleased with the crowd’s behaviour on race day
Nancy Nixon, from Cooranga North, and Nicola Weber, from Toowoomba, wore elegant race day fascinators
Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington and South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff got together with AgForce Queensland president Grant Maudsley to discuss agricultural issues between races

* * *

Billie-Rose Derbyshire had a surprise win in Race 2 aboard the top weight Charge Missile, beating nearest rival Klammer by three quarters of a length


Race 1 – South Burnett Regional Council / South Burnett Times Class B Handicap (1050m)
1. Sir Bam (2) – Paul Hamblin
2. Anxpense (3) – Wayne O’Connell
3. In Taiwan (8) – Melody O’Brien
Time: 1:01.30
Margins: Short half head x 1 1/4 lengths

Race 2 – Hot FM 89.1 / Taabinga Station Patrons Cup Open Handicap (1050m)
1. Charge Missile (1) – Billie-Rose Derbyshire
2. Klammer (3) – Paul Hamblin
3. Monte Lago (7) – Melody O’Brien
Time: 0:59.65
Margins: 3/4 length x 2 lengths

Race 3 – 4SB 1071 / O’Reilly Nunn Favier Surveyors QTIS Maiden Plate (1175m)
1. Court Rules (5) – Leeanne McCoy
2. Drummle (7) – Gemma Steele
3. Stratton Oakmont (4) – Wayne O’Connell
Time: 1:11.30
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths x 1 1/4 lengths

Race 4 – Clovely Estate / Agforce / BGA BenchMark 60 Handicap (1175m)
1. Pick Of The Pubs (3) – Leeanne McCoy
2. Heza Chumley (2) – Paul Hamblin
3. Output (7) – Billie-Rose Derbyshire
Time: 1:10.10
Margins: 1/2 head x 1 length

Race 5 – CROW FM 90.7 / Ken Mills Toyota And Machinery Burrandowan Cup BM50 Handicap (1740m)
1. Onemore Twist (7) – Pietro Romeo
2. First Regret (NZ) (4) – Lachlan Dodds
3. Destiny’s Desire (10) – Gemma Steele
Time: 1:49.63
Margins: Short 1/2 head x neck

South Burnett Times GM Daniel Pelci, Cr Roz Frohloff, Cr Ros Heit and South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell presented a prize to the connections of Sir Bam, which won the first race of the day

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