A Spring Carnival Extravaganza
Friday 10th of October 2008 will go done in the records for two reasons:
- World stock markets fell by as much as 7% in a day and 15% of the course of a week, commonly referred to as Black Friday, and
- The Grassroots Sportsmen’s Club sat done to lunch with over 90 members to celebrate the start of the Spring Racing Carnival with energetic guest speaker and great friend of the Club Simon Marshall.
It was a perfect Melbourne Spring day that played into the hands of the venue we had chosen. The Naval and Military Club boasted an outdoor greeting area where we indulge in a cool beverage and listen to the dulcet tunes of Shane Pullen to start the day.
The lunch started with MC Shane Templeton speaking with great excitement about the upcoming Spring and bought our attentions to a horse call "Daintree Duke", calling it one of the quickest horse he had seen. Time has suggested that the talent was there, but we are yet to see the best of the Duke.
Dan Clohesy from the Mirabel Foundation then spoke, explaining that the money raised at the first lunch assisted Ash, a talented young Mirabel client, to get to the national swimming championships. Ash lives with his grandmother and his circumstances would have seen him struggle to participate without the donation from the GSC.
We were aware of how entertaining Simon Marshall was from his recent work at the Beijing Olympics, where he bought new life to the sport of Equestrian. Few expected terrific story Simon went onto tell. Son of a horse trainer who rode track work for his dad from a young age at Cranbourne and went on to be a multiple group one winning jockey. It felt like we were riding some of the horse with him as he told us of his amazing journey.
He recalled heading off to Flemington for the first time with a bus load of relatives, to stories of getting a local favourite home in a country meet, to his career getting cut short by his battle to meet riding weight and what he went through to prolong his career for as long as he did. Simon also gave his best bet for Caulfield Guineas Day (Turfontein) for which he several members some cash when he next sees them.
To use a pun we rode every word of Simon’s speech. He remains a great supporter of the Grassroots Sportsmen’s Club and we watch with great interest in his blossoming media career.
A health contingent of members stayed on and enjoyed the more entertainment from Shane Pullen on the sun drenched outdoor area before we headed for some cleansing ale at Mick Gatto’s favorite spot ‘Society’.
Although a dark day on the financial markets, another successful lunch for the Club and over $2,100 raised for our main charity Mirabel, nice work gentlemen.