Wellington Race Club vice-president Malcolm Brown could not be more thrilled with how the weekend’s Boot event played out.
While he enjoyed the entire weekend, Mr Brown said he thought the Boot day was sensational.
“The crowds were phenomenal.
“As far as I saw everyone was well behaved and everybody had a great day,” he said.
Mr Brown said there were a few things about the day that really stood out for him, one of which was the attendance of some prominent trainers.
“What was so good was seeing some high profile city trainers and horses come to the races.
“The racing was excellent and it was great to see the likes of Gerald Ryan actually making the trip to Wellington to see his horses.
“But what was even better was that the three biggest races – the Boot, the Country Championships qualifier, which city horses can’t start in anyway, and the Plate – all went to country horses,” Mr Brown said.
Mr Brown said it was too early for an accurate attendance number for the day.
“I believe the gate takings were much the same as last year,” he said.
From a betting standpoint, TAB reported a 22.7 per cent increase in starting horses – rising from 88 in 2016 to 108 and a 7.1 per cent increase in NSWTAB turnover for the day rising from $1,577,778 in 2016 to $1,690,553 this year.
Dubbo Regional Council’s city promotions and events supervisor Lana Willetts said the council is thrilled to be able to support time-honoured events such as the Wellington Boot and the Vintage Fair, as well as one-off events like the Bicentenary.
“With a number of capital works projects either underway or scheduled to take place over the coming months, improvements to infrastructure and facilities means Wellington will have an increased capacity to host large-scale events into the future.”
Four big events in the past fortnight - the Wellington Boot, the Wellington Vintage Fair and Swap Meet, the Red Hot Summer Tour and Nitro Circus Live - have seen more than 20,000 people attend events, Ms Willetts said.
With half of those people expected to have travelled to the area, Ms Willets said the visitor spend would have hit the $1.5 million mark.
Mr Brown said the Race Club has already begun work to make next year's Boot Carnival a must-attend event.