To add money or to not to add money that is the $64,000 question.
Rewind ten years and the format of two weekend shows over two days was the norm. Over time Championship shows with added money trickled into the schedule and as time moved on so did the number of these added money events. Fast forward to today and added money championship shows are now more common than the Jackpot format, but even nowadays committees are taking a financial risk in making these richer events happen. The Jackpot format is a safe option for small shows as it simply divides the money received and shares it round to all the placegetters. Adding more money to the prize pool increases the risk of a show being in the red if entry numbers proves to be a disappointment.
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Being run at the tail end of summer, it’s a big plus for the Darling Downs weekend show to be held in a shed. At this time of the year it is usually very hot or very wet or both. Having a cover ensures that running a show around the wet season will go ahead. We only have to look at the recent SQCHA Condamine washout to verify that one. Being under cover in the heat has been a big plus for this particular venue, however dwindling entry numbers in recent years led the Darling Downs crew to reboot and for the first time the show format was changed to a $550 added money championship show. Fortunately the financial risk paid off and the show attracted just over 220 show entries with 90 odd preworks. The $5,000 Novice, $15,000 Novice and Rookies events attracted big numbers with moderate entries in all the others bar the Open.
Todd Graham riding Weatherford Equines Classical Lilly to win the $5,000 Novice, shared the weekends top score with Youth Competitor Dakota Wadsworth, $7,500 Non Pro winner Jack Johnston, Lori Mackay in the Novice Non Pro and Phil Dawson riding Cutting Edges Quarter Horses Beccys Merada, all given 74’s by judge Russ Benson. Of course not only is balancing the books a challenge for organisers, but when shows do attract large numbers, the next challenge is finding the number of hours in the day to get through all the runs. I suspect it was past a few of the youths bedtime once they passed the timeline on Saturday night but nontheless it was well worth the wait, the youngsters as usual showed their more experienced counterparts (the adults) just how it’s done.
Most of the herds were treated to a good cattle supply and the the surface was managed extremely well throughout the weekend. With the success of this show in 2018, there is little doubt that it will remain on the show callendar for many years to come.
The Weekend’s Winners
Classical Lilly (Todd Graham) 74
$15,000 Non Pro
One Stylish Turpentine (Steve Beale) 72
Docs Felix (Rohan McKee) 73
Open Non Pro
Precious Duck (Lori Mackay) 73
Dealt A Shocking Hand (Sandee Rodd) 73
Dakota Wadsworth (Neat Chick) 74
Beccys Merada (Phil Dawson) 74
$7,500 Non Pro
Mypops Dual Rey ( Jack Johnston) 74
Novice Non Pro
Precious Duck (Lori Mackay) 74
Philrey (Darren Palmer) 71
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