Nindigully Pub pig races raise almost $20,000 for RFDS

A PAIR OF HAMS: Sydney resident Wayne Mosch gets into the spirit of the Nindigully Pig races by hamming it  up for the camera with event mascot “Bourney” on Saturday morning.
A PAIR OF HAMS: Sydney resident Wayne Mosch gets into the spirit of the Nindigully Pig races by hamming it up for the camera with event mascot “Bourney” on Saturday morning. Lyndon Keane

REVELLERS raised some serious bacon for the Royal Flying Doctor Service when they turned out in force for the 2012 Nindigully Pub pig races at the weekend.

With picture-perfect conditions at the iconic watering hole, about 600 people celebrated and dug deep while witnessing some uniquely Australian racing action.

The annual event has quickly become a must-do for those eager to experience a one-of-a-kind fundraiser and the hundreds of tents, caravans and motorhomes that lined the Moonie River were testament to its popularity.

A six-race program featuring eight "thoroughbred racing pigs" was the showcase spectacle of the weekend, with an impressive line-up of off-track entertainment including the legendary Sheik of Scrubby Creek, Chad Morgan.

In total, $19,533.75 was raised for the RFDS and Nindigully Pub owner Steve Burns said he was thrilled with the result after the 2011 pig races essentially became a washout.

"It was a brilliant day and we were pretty impressed with the amount of money raised," he said.

"Today was the result of some active PR over the last six months that's resulted in a lot of tourists telling people about the races and then coming back themselves."

As the thermometer in the beer garden bar nudged 40 degrees midway through the event, the crowd sought shade and a cold drink between races.

Mr Burns joked the need to keep people hydrated resulted in a frantic dash back to St George.

"The money and the beer flowed," he laughed.

"They drank a pallet of beer in three hours; I had to go and get another 45 cartons out of St George."

With plans already underway for a bigger and better event in 2013, Mr Burns said he and partner Debbie Lee, the historic pub's licensee, couldn't have asked for more from the enthusiastic patrons, many of whom have already pencilled next year's pig races in their diaries.

"We are ecstatic with the level of support we've had," he said.

"There were a lot of familiar faces here but a lot of new friends, too."

Topics:  balonne shire chad morgan entertainment nindigully pig races rfds royal flying doctor service st george

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