Guests at the Farming Families Day at the Races were able to relax with friends and family at the community event

A day off-farm

by Ann van Engelen

All types of rural families took the opportunity to have time off the farm together last Sunday and spent the day at the Ashburton Trotting Club for the Farming Families Day at the Races.

“It was a very successful event and gave our guests something inexpensive to do with their families before the busy calving season,” says co-organiser Craig Wiggins.

“More than 500 people attended, and our sponsors were fantastic. The race club had to find their car park full sign, which they haven’t used for a couple of years. People caught up with neighbours and friends and met new people. The activities included a vintage car display, skydivers and sulky races for the family. We wanted to lift people’s spirits with a little bit of light entertainment with no pressure. It was a beautiful day, and the face painter was bombarded by children. There were a lot of health checks done with quite a few farmers being recommended to visit their doctor for a more thorough check.

“There were many spot prizes, and the Rural Co-op Fashion of the Field went down really well. People got into the swing of things with local MPs judging competitions, and Mayor Flavell was there along with many happy sponsors.

“These type of days are important for everybody, not just farmers. It is good to run community orientated things to build people’s spirits up and keep the money raised within the community so they can grow. The more people you can get interacting off-farm, or anywhere, rubbing shoulders with mates and enjoying a day out with no stress and not a lot of cost, is an important aspect of health and well being and we need to do it more.

“The children had bouncy castles and free ice cream and milky drinks and a variety of food. People enjoyed the Ashburton Classic Car Club display, and most guests went home with a prize of some type.

“Rural Support Trust was chatting with people about life on the farm and were extremely helpful, along with our sponsors. It was a great day for people to just enjoy it — the community spirit with their family and friends.

We are looking forward to next year and growing the event to help our rural community have a day of relaxation.”