BEST IN QLD: The inaugural On The Bit gala will be dedicated to recognising country racing excellence.
BEST IN QLD: The inaugural On The Bit gala will be dedicated to recognising country racing excellence. Daniel McKenzie

Emerald to host racing gala

HORSE RACING: On February 16, the inaugural On The Bit country racing awards dinner will be held in Emerald at the Town Hall.

The founding father of On The Bit is Matty Peters, who pioneered the live streaming of non-TAB country racing with coverage of Queensland country racing venues from as far afield as Birdsville in the Simpson Desert to as far north to Cooktown and Goondiwindi in the south.

Matt Peters has done a lot of work in conjunction with Racing Queensland to have the evening sanctioned and sponsored by the thoroughbred governing body.

The night will be a first for country racing, a gala evening dedicated to recognising country racing excellence with several award categories to be presented throughout the evening.

After Emerald was chosen to hold the function, Peters and the On The Bit committee have worked tirelessly and have assembled a team of heavy hitters to host the evening.

Radio TAB identity Mark Forbes will host the evening. The headline acts include special guests two-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey Jimmy 'thE Pumper' Cassidy, retired Test cricketer Andy Bichel, Brisbane race caller Allan Thomas and renowned poet Rupert McCall.

The night coincides with a big day of racing at Pioneer Park then the action will head to the Emerald Town Hall. Tickets are on sale for $160 per head which includes a three-course dinner and exclusive access to the On The Bit after party from 11pm until 2am at The Irish Village Emerald.

The tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite site 'On The Bit Qld Country Racing Awards'. Money raised from the awards night will fund technology to the On The Bit team to upgrade equipment to continue to broadcast racing and upgrade country race club facilities.

Funds will also go to the drought relief fund.

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