FORGET the race that stops the nation. Gunnedah is gearing up for the race that halts the region.
The Courthouse Hotel and Apex have teamed up for the second consecutive year to host Gunnedah’s Annual Pig Races next month.
Courthouse Hotel manager Zac Wheatland said last year’s inaugural fundraising event was the biggest day since the pub threw open its doors.
The car park will be transformed into an obstacle course for six pigs across six races, with a Calcutta and sweeps on offer.
“(Pigs) in the early races went for $30 or $40 each, and by the end, they were going for $200 or $300 a pig,” Mr Wheatland said.
“A percentage of that goes to Apex and the winner takes all.”
The man behind the pig races if self-proclaimed “pig whisperer” Kevin Kiley.
The Queenslander runs Noah’s Thoroughbred Racing Pigs, and is making the trip south to host Gunnedah’s event for the second time around.
“I have milk at one end (of the course) and get a can of paint and put numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on pigs and they race,” Mr Kiley explained.
“The only thing difference between horse racing and pig racing is the finishing line. Pigs go nuts for milk.”
Mr Kiley will bring the pigs down with him from Queensland, as he navigates the racing circuit between Cairns and Hobart.
“The secret to (a winning pig) is there is no secret,” he tipped.
“Don’t think about it too much. As long as it’s fun.”
Apex Club of Gunnedah member Jess Wild hoped this year’s fundraising event would build upon the funds raised from last year.
“Last year was an absolute success,” Mrs Wild said.
“Last year, we were raising money for defibrillators and basically got enough for most schools in town.”
Funds raised from this year’s event will go towards a range of community projects headed up by Apex.
The family-friendly event kicks off at the Courthouse Hotel from 1pm on Saturday, April 1. It will feature a full pig racing form, jumping castle, eating competition, kids’ games and more.