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A New Year’s Day tradition since 1845 continued on Saturday, with the annual Longford Cup | The Examiner


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A New Year’s Day tradition since 1845 continued on Saturday, with the annual Longford Cup taking place at the historic Longford Racecourse. The hot weather didn’t deter punters as marquees were set up to ensure the best spot to take in one of the top events on Tasmania’s racing calendar, with many making sure cold drinks, hats and lots of sunscreen were on hand to beat the sun’s rays. The full-capacity event was capped at 3000 people, with mask wearing required. READ MORE: Virus, victory, and vitriol: a year in state politics for 2021 There were fewer COVID restrictions than last year however, with fashions on the field returning after being cancelled last year and zoning no longer required. The iconic day included live music, food and beverage stalls, face-painting, the Launceston RSL Pipes and Drums band and the popular fashions on the field events. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of a little-known horse named Piping Lane, with jockey John Letts taking out the Longford Cup in 1972 and then going on to win the Melbourne Cup that same year, one of only three Tasmanian-bred horses to take out the race that stops the nation. Tasmanian Turf Club chairman Alison Archer said the cup was always a great family day. “We’ve had a very good turn out with 3000 people here, we have reached out capacity that has been put in place due to COVID capacity,” she said. “It’s a lovely family day and it’s great to see everyone come along. We have been blessed with good weather, it’s been hot but not too hot. “We want this day to be a nice, relaxing, social day for people after New Year’s Eve and also a chance to see some great horse races.” READ MORE: Car ploughs through Tasmanian campsite on NYE, children injured Mrs Archer said that slight changes in COVID protocols, including the absence of zoned-off areas that featured last year, meant a more interactive crowd atmosphere. “We follow the directions of the Health Department and masks were required unless you are eating or drinking, the same as most large events these days,” she said. “With a big crowd, it’s important that we have the right guidelines in place and people have done well today to follow the rules and look out for each other. “Today is the oldest, most historic racecourse race event in Australia. It’s the longest continuous race and a community-based event, with lots of Longford locals involved.” The next major Northern events on the Tas Racing calendar as part of the Tasmanian Summer of Racing are the 2022 Devonport Club to be held on January 5 and the 2022 Launceston Cup, set to be held on February 23. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: Follow us on Google News: The Examiner

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