Tag listing: Events

Jumps racing

Racing Minister Leon Bignell’s increasingly vocal opposition to jumps racing in SA is fast pushing the controversial issue to a head.
Earlier this year he hit out at racing’s governing body, Thoroughbred Racing SA, over its decision to force the SA Jockey Club to host jumps races at its Morphettville track when it had requested the sport be dropped from the metropolitan racecourse.
He called for jumps racing to be phased out, as it has in every other Australian State except Victoria.
Over the weekend Mr Bignell was at it again – urging consideration of a ban on the sport at the same time that thousands were gathering at Oakbank, jumps racing’s biggest event of the year in SA.
His comments have understandably infuriated the head of the Oakbank Racing Club, John Glatz, who wants to know exactly where the Government stands on this issue.
Mr Bignell told a weekend press conference that he is unsure whether the Labor Government would support Greens MLC Tammy Franks’ Bill to put an end to jumps racing in SA.
It is also unclear how the rest of the State Labor caucus feels about the issue.
Parliamentary Speaker Michael Atkinson attended this year’s Easter races and was a vocal opponent of the Greens Bill on Twitter over the weekend.
Just two races out of a program of eight at each day’s Oakbank meetings are jumps races.
Oakbank draws more than 60,000 visitors to the Hills over two days annually, making it a huge tourism boon for the region – surely a good thing under Mr Bignell’s other hat as Tourism Minister.
What is unclear is how many of those visitors come for the jumps racing and how many would return if those races were deleted from the program.
Every year there is debate about the merit or otherwise of retaining jumps races and, with a horse 19 times more likely to die in a jumps race than on the flat, it is undoubtedly a risky sport.
Unlike most commentators and lobbyists, Mr Bignell is in a position to change things in the racing industry if he doesn’t like them.
If he is so opposed to the sport, then perhaps it is time for him to lead the charge towards that change.

The fear factor

Police have declared war on motorbike riders with the targeted blitz on those who flout the region’s speed limits.
One only has to observe the behavior of some weekend riders on sections of Hills roads to realise that some bikers view local roads as racetracks.
The speeds are staggering, as are some of the high risk overtaking manoeuvres.
The intended use of hidden cameras highlights the level to which the situation has descended with police counteracting the practice of riders travelling the roads at safe speeds checking for cameras before giving the ‘all clear’ to others.
It is true that an experienced motorcycle rider can safely travel on most Hills roads in excess of the posted speed limit.
But the roads are not playgrounds.
They are used by everyone from semi-trailers to cyclists and one group cannot be quarantined from the rules.
The deliberate police move to create a  “fear of detection” among road users shows the level of their concern.
It appears that the only deterrent for some will be either getting killed or getting  caught.
With the well signposted fixed cameras on the freeway at Crafers and Mt Osmond collecting a staggering $6m in their first seven months of operation, one can only wonder what impact the hidden cameras will have.
If lives are saved then the deterrent will have been a success.

Pick of the bunch

Lake Breeze winery’s Handpicked Festival will certainly have helped put the Langhorne Creek wine region on the map.
Such an event is a great way to draw new people into the region – people who, after their first taste, will hopefully want to return to explore the other wineries and attractions on offer.
In a challenging marketplace where there is plenty of competition for the tourism dollar, it is encouraging to see a small local business taking a chance by organising a major event.
The time, effort and money that goes into securing and delivering such a festival is huge.
Let’s hope the payoffs are just as big for one of SA’s lesser known but significant wine regions.

Hahndorf the loser

The cancellation of this weekend’s Dawdle and Doodle Days will be sad news for many traders in Hahndorf.

Festival a first step for Joel

Not many people turn their school research project into a real event but that’s exactly what Mt Barker resident Joel Siviour has done.

‘Mini Tour’ proposed to attract top riders

Cycling promoters are hoping to run a new race event in the Hills next May that will be a level below the Tour Down Under but will attract the nation’s top riders.

Petition against rodeo presented to council

Activists opposed to a rodeo scheduled for Lobethal in November have sent a petition signed by almost 700 people to the Adelaide Hills Council.

Moving towards a battle of wits

Hills children will get the chance to test their chess skills when the first Adelaide Hills Junior Chess Championships are held this month.

Log fires, music, food complement top reds

Red wine, roaring fires, toe-tapping tunes and fine food combined to draw hundreds of people to the Hills for the annual Winter Reds festival on the weekend.

Rodda’s ripper rally run

A young rally driver from the Hills is leading the Australian Junior 4WD rally championships following his performance at the 2012 Scouts Rally SA event over the weekend.

Feral dishes to feature at winery event

Forget the lamb roast and the scotch fillet steak, one Hills winery has found a feral food match to complement its new release reds.

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