Thousands to descend on Callaghan Park on Saturday
Published 14 October 2022
The Rockhampton Jockey Club is gearing for its busiest race meeting of the year with the annual St Peter’s School Caulfield Cup Day races tomorrow. SATURDAY
Over the last week the Callaghan Park racecourse has been a hive of activity with a maze of extra seating, tabling and marquee arrangements being put into place to cater for the large crowd.
What started about 30 hears ago as a fund raiser for Rockhampton’s St Peters Catholic Primary School at Allentown, has grown in stature to become iconic on the local racing calendar.
Thousands of racegoers, in the majority young people are expected to descend on the racecourse to take part in an extensive array of hospitality and entertainment packages.
“We offered a number of options for racegoers to consider ranging from party like packages to more conventional luncheons. The response has to put it plainly has been brilliant. All the packages are sold out. We even made adjustments to one of the areas for the Brookvale Bash Trackside Party so as to allow for the sale of an extra 50 tickets that were released. They sold out very quickly’’, RJC CEO Ian Mill said.
He said that after the conclusion of the six-race local race card live entertainment would commence for an After The Races Party.
“It’s all very exciting for the Club and the organising committee from St Peters School. It looks like being a colossal day. This event injects considerable money in to the Rockhampton and surrounding districts”, Mill concluded.
The local race program has lured the biggest St Peter’s fields for some years with horses coming from as far afield as the Sunshine Coast.
Jockeys are coming from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.
The first local race, the Carly-Mae Pye Memorial will commence at 12.57pm with racecourse gates opening hours earlier.
The memorial race is run annually as the St Peter’s School race date coincides with the timing of the tragic death of very much treasured Rockhampton jockey Carly-Mae Pye 26, in October 2014.
Carly-Mae lost her life as a result of injuries sustained when a horse, she was riding trackwork broke down and speared her on to the Callaghan Park track before rolling on her.
Each year the memorial race brings to life not only memories of Carly-Mae Pye but also highlights the grave risk courageous jockeys take every time they partner a racehorse in both track work and a race.
In his book “Their Last Ride – The Fallen Jockeys of Australia”, author John Payne profiled in October 2019 that 950 jockeys in Australia had died as a result of horse related accidents, with the first in 1847