KIDS FUN: Bailey, 5, Savannah, 4, and Austin, 4, McMillan, of Sydney, enjoy the activities on tap at the Ballina Boxing Day Races.
KIDS FUN: Bailey, 5, Savannah, 4, and Austin, 4, McMillan, of Sydney, enjoy the activities on tap at the Ballina Boxing Day Races. Marc Stapelberg

PHOTOS: Sunny fun at Ballina's Boxing Day races

THE 2016 Ballina Boxing Day Races got off to a wet start, but by the time the first race was under way it was clear skies and a cool breeze combating the sunshine blasting down on the green track.

This was good for punters who had come all the way from Tasmania, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast and, of course, Ballina.

Many were inspired to attend by family memories or by word of mouth.

This was good news for the club as last year rain caused the event to be cancelled.

Ballina Jockey Club general manager Matthew Bertram said it was an important date for the club, because it was the oldest date in the racing calendar and continued a 100-year-old tradition.

He said they sold 400 pre-sale tickets and expected the final tally to show an attendance of more than 1500 people.

"It is only something we introduced at the beginning of the year - we have online ticket sales now which is something very new to us," he said.

"We started that on the Ballina Cup and that worked really well and it has worked again."

Sarah McMillan, of Sydney, who was visiting her mother and family, said she decided to bring her kids to the Boxing Day races as it was a family tradition and she wanted to show them what it was like for her growing up.

She said it was very nostalgic to see the club again and had noticed it was looking really good.

"You can get right up to the action here," Ms McMillan said.

"You can basically smell the horses as they run past."



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