Moonie Yabbie Races leave punters happy

IMPORTANT JOB: Race starter Peter Baker gets the yabbies ready for the big moment on Saturday at Moonie.
IMPORTANT JOB: Race starter Peter Baker gets the yabbies ready for the big moment on Saturday at Moonie. Richard Coombs

THE Moonie Sports Club was packed with more than 400 revellers at the weekend for an afternoon of high fashion, high betting and high adrenalin.

The Moonie Yabbie Races is the hallmark event on the calendar for the town between Dalby and St George.

The usually sleepy town comes alive one day a year for the yabbie races, which prove to be the lifeblood for the community.

Used as the main fundraiser for the year, the profit is enough to sustain the sports club for the year.

Georgina Bickell was a part of the organising committee for this year's races and said the 2012 event lived up to expectations.

"It runs so smoothly," she said.

"A business from Dalby came down for their work Christmas party and said they loved it.

"People are pretty surprised about how serious the betting can be."

Each yabbie in every race was auctioned off, with the favourite reaching prices as high as $600.

Ms Bickell said there was strategy behind it and you could generally pick the favourite as the winner.

The committee added a few new aspects to this year's event, which proved very successful.

The raffle tickets, art competition, food, and even the merchandise were embraced by the punters.

"The MC, Professor John Fraser, was very entertaining," she said.

"The new fashions of the field interviews went down well; John's very good at thinking on his feet.

"We'd bring him back again, he loved it. He was surprised how crazy we were."

Ms Bickell said Mr Fraser provided positive feedback about the races and put in his two cents about making them bigger and better.

After a seven-race program the party moved inside, with Strange Dog smashing out some catchy tunes long into the night.

"People have said they're going to come back next year and bring 10 friends, that's the sort of thing we want," Ms Bickell said.

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