A winner Bobs up at the Broome Cup

The name Elafella is well known to the 8000 people on course watching the recent Broome Cup but the track champion wasn’t the only winner of the day.

At the Fashions on the Field stage another name was called out again and again during the parade: Bob’s Shoe Store.

The dresses came from various leading brands and many of the fashionistas created their own matching headpieces but the top source of shoes was the local Broome store, where Buyer Michella Lee said heels were chosen to be both sturdy and stylish.

“We’re conscious of the demand for shoes that suit racing in the bush and we know what the track and the grounds are like,” Michella said.

“We know stilettos sink straight into the pindan and wedges and block heels are more comfortable. You want to look gorgeous but you don’t want to land in the dirt.”

“We choose carefully to make sure we have the right dressy styles – we call it Kimberley formal. It’s generally more casual than other race wear across the country.”

The Kimberley formal dress code was emphasised by the scarcity of traditional suits on course. Instead, summer dresses were popular in the 34C heat, along with shorts and shirts with the sleeves rolled up.

Among those in full jacket and tie, however, were Broome Turf Club Chair Derek Albert and Racing Minister Reece Whitby.

Showing the Minister around the sunny racecourse alongside famous Cable Beach, Derek, widely known as Jig, said the local race round brought visitors back year after year.

“We have nine race days, finishing with the Broome Cup and it’s huge for the town,” Jig said.

“A lot of visitors come from Perth and tickets sell fast. We have dozens of sponsors and about 200 horses, some coming across from Darwin or up from Perth.”

As if to make his point, a group of farmers on a race trip arranged by York-based agricultural supplier Avon Valley Ag paused for photos with the Minister and the coveted Cup itself.

Economic analysis shows around 35,000 people attend race meetings in the Kimberley, generating close to $23 million for Western Australia.

The Broome Cup is a highlight of the regional race season that runs from June to August.

Outside the annual race round, Jig said the club was considering options for the racecourse to be used for rodeos, livestock events, music festivals, equine assisted learning programs and community activities.

“The facility should be available to be used by others,” he said.

On Cup Day, the capacity crowd put a strain on local internet services but racegoers queued patiently for the ATM when they discovered connection was too unreliable to use mobile betting apps for a flutter on the feature race.

The post-race party extended well into the evening as the racegoers had plenty to celebrate, whether it was picking a winner such as Elafella, a win for a local business or for the wider community.

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

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