Wet weather stops horses but not racegoers
A SOGGY section of track stopped the horses, but it wasn't going to stop more than 1200 racegoers from as far as Melbourne celebrating trackside at Tabulam for the annual races.
Keeping with tradition, about 60 of the Tabulam born and raised Watt family were centred around the former canteen on the infield, as they have been for more than 30 years.
"Our father settled a farm at Tabulam back in the early 1950s," Max Watt said.
"For the past 30 years or more the family has been coming back for the Tabulam races.
"Usually we will get up to 100 people, so it's a little bit quiet this year."
Former Tabulam public school students, sisters Melody, Daphne and La-Wren Goulter travelled from Melbourne for the occasion.
"We are looking to catch up with people we went to primary school with at Tabulam," Melody said.
"We have already caught up with some our old school friends and are looking to find more."
A crew from Byron Bay, who have had a themed Tabulam race celebration for decades, continued their tradition in 2015 with the theme "bad taste".
"It's our 25th year; and we always have a theme," Paul McCarthy said.
"Who needs horses when you have got cold beer and nice weather?"
Tabulam Racing Club secretary Milton King said Racing NSW stewards inspected the track on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday morning before declaring the meeting off.
"The stewards inspected the track and they decided there was almost 100 metres of it they considered to be dangerous," he said.
"They said it wasn't safe to run."
To keep the hundreds of campers and racegoers who flocked to the track on the day, Mr King said the club decided to hold a phantom event.
Punters were able to bet on races in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, ladies paraded their styles in fashions on the field, children were entertained with rides and dodgem cars, while the crowds tucked into the takeaway food at a traditional country racing meeting.
The 2015 cancellation was only a minor speed bump in the club's plans for the future, Mr King said.
"We'll be back again next year, like every year," he said.
"We have had a good past couple of years, so we have a little bit of money in reserve."