Dubbo residents have been urged to continue to support picnic and country race meetings, after another edition of the Macquarie Picnics was held on Saturday.
An assault and some minor scuffles marred an otherwise successful day, with police and organisers alike generally pleased with the behaviour of the bumper, 2500-strong crowd.
People travelled from as far afield as Tamworth, Newcastle and even the Northern Territory for this year’s event, but Macquarie Picnics president Lottie Rae said it was especially good to see Dubbo faces in the crowd.
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“It’s a great day: you’re mad if you don’t come,” she said.
“Not only are you supporting a community that supports them, it’s genuinely good fun and if I wasn’t here doing this job, I’d be in there drinking.”
The mercury peaked at 38 degrees at Trangie on Saturday, capping off what has been one of the hottest years on record across the region.
Despite receiving above-average rainfall in October and November at the Trangie Research Station AWS, the region continues to battle the drought with just over half the annual average falling in 2018.
“It’s very dry and you can see that by the two water carts going full speed on that track,” Miss Rae said.
“So it’s very dry, but it is everywhere, so you take that on your chin and you make do with what you’ve got.
“This is an opportunity for everyone to get together and have a beer and it’s a positive moment in what’s been a pretty shitty year.”
Miss Rae said the day was “everything we want”, and thanked her committee for their efforts.
“Without them, there wouldn’t be a Trangie races and it’s … really important for community morale particularly,” she said.
Police are investigating the one major incident of the race, when an 18-year-old man sufferred serious lacerations to his face after the races.
The man was in the camping area of the racecourse just after 1am when he became involved in an altercation with up to six other males.
At one point during the altercation the 18-year-old man was hit in the face with what he believed was a bottle.
Police interviewed a number of witnesses and have collect some forensic evidence from the scene.