Jockey Club back in full flow
The scenes at the Murwillumbah Racecourse were surreal 12 months ago: literally underwater, the track had turned into a lake. An iconic photo taken of the track's winning post sticking its head just above the floodwater was shared around the country.
Meets were abandoned, equipment and records damaged, and the mud (so invasive it had to be removed with pressure cleaners) lingered, taking a frustratingly long time to dry.
The Tweed River Jockey Club (TRJC) lost a lot of precious memorabilia too. Plants died and machinery became defunct - so the clean-up was, like for so many clubs, businesses and homes and in the area, painful and extensive.
By June 4, 2017, the club had its head well above water, as the TRJC conducted its first full race program since the floods. A substantial amount of the club's own funds were used to repair and replace damaged items. The club also paid wages to staff who spent weeks cleaning up the devastated facilities.
Chairman of TRJC, Bernie Quinn OAM, said the goodwill the community afforded to TRJC was vital in getting the club back on track.
"The TRJC would like to acknowledge and thank the local community, our members and sponsors and Racing NSW for their time, donations and contribution over the past 12 months that assisted in the TRJC being able to return to racing,” said Quinn.
"The track has recovered well and is as good as any Country Racing NSW track today.
"It has been a somewhat difficult 12 months and we would hope that sort of event does not happen again. It not only affected us but the wider community.”
TRJC is looking forward to a big calendar of racing with the Anzac Day Races the next to run on April 25.
Gates will open at 11.30am, first race at 1.25pm and last race at 4.45pm. The Mangrove Jack Band will be live on the lawn from 12pm.