The highly successful The Championships theme spread to the NSW picnic racing arena in September 2016 with the inaugural NSW Picnic Racing Association (NSWPRA) Picnic Champion Series first kicking off at Harden picnics, providing first points for the series.
The first Picnic Champion Series final was held on Dubbo Gold Cup Day back in September 2017 with Racing NSW providing $50,000 in prizemoney; the race being won by Security Code, who was ridden by Maddison Wright and trained by Rodney Robb.
Robb made it the perfect score in 2018 when his galloper Austin, who was ridden by Mollie Partridge, bolted in to win the final, scoring by a widening margin of just under five lengths
Then in 2019, Mark Ward prepared Gadfly, who was ridden by the NSWPRA’s newest jockey Brent Evans, to win the now coveted picnic racing event.
The most recent edition of the Picnic Champion Series was run in September 2020 and the Mark Schmetzer trained Military Bay topped the point’s tally and won the Dubbo final, with brother in-law Ash Boy booting home the win for connections.
In 2021, the NSW Picnic Champion Series will move to the Coonamble Jockey Club, with the final to be held on October 10 – this is the first time the final has been held away from Dubbo.
To qualify for the NSW Picnic Champion Series final, horses acquire points for every picnic race meeting they attend in NSW and the highest-ranked ranked horses at the end of the 12 months are then eligible to nominate for the NSWPRA Picnic Champion Series Final.
All horses except Maidens are eligible to qualify and picnic clubs must be affiliated with the NSW Picnic Racing Association and use Approved Riders.
For more information on, anything NSW Picnic Racing Association related, participants can contact the NSWPRA president Craig Tyack on 0428729167, or NSWPRA secretary Deidre Adam on 0427924210 or email [email protected]
For information on the NSWPRA Picnic Champion Series point score system, please refer to the table on right, which outlines what points can be earned at each class of picnic race.