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Sowing the seeds of co-operation between clubs

A simple gesture to help out a fellow SA racing club is an example of the industry working together in challenging times, a local CEO says.

Murray Bridge Racing Club has loaned its disc seeder to the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club, saving the latter a substantial sum of money.

The equipment is being used to sow rye grass to sustain Gawler’s track through the colder months ahead.

“Normally we hire a seeder off a contractor, and we also have to hire him to use it,” said Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club CEO Shane Collins.

“There’s quite a cost involved, so this has saved us thousands of dollars.

“Not too long ago we supported Murray Bridge. We did a big sprinkler upgrade here and gave them all our old sprinklers so they could use them on their old facility.

“So we are working together as clubs, and certainly in this time it’s really important that we do that.”

Shane said the seeder found its way to Gawler thanks to Thoroughbred Racing South Australia’s industry track manager John Tonani.

“John said, ‘Murray Bridge has a disc seeder, you should see if you can use it’,” Shane said.

“So I spoke to John Buhagiar (Murray Bridge Racing Club secretary/manager) and he was more than happy to lend it to us.

“From there we moved into overdrive. Murray Bridge’s Reg Nolan put it on his truck, and got it down here for us, at no charge.

“Now Morphettville is going to borrow it as well, so it’s just a real cost-saving exercise for the clubs, which is great.”

Gawler’s winter rye grass will be sown in the coming days, so it can germinate and emerge when the weather starts cooling down.

“The kikuyu grass goes dormant in winter, so you need a winter grass that will keep growing and keep the surface nice and soft, and provide a good racing track,” Shane said.

“At the moment, we’ll give our main grass probably a week’s rest from gallops while it germinates, just to give the seed some strength in the turf.

“But after that, there’ll be no problems at all. It’ll be fine.”

Gawler is scheduled to stage its next meeting on Easter Monday.

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