Garry began his involvement with the Tuncurry Forster Jockey Club in 2005 alongside Adrian Wood.
The current president of the club said at one point the facility was close to closure.
“Why am I here? It was needed,” Garry explained.
“The racecourse was going nowhere.
“I didn’t do it all on my own, we’ve got a great committee and people that have worked on this place.”
Over the years, the club’s committee worked to improve infrastructure at the site and consequently built a sustainable racing calendar.
One such move was the recent upgrade to the irrigation system.
He thanked Racing NSW for its ongoing support for the club and for helping with the funding of the system through the Country Racing Development Fund.
“It takes five hours to water the track instead of 13,” Garry said.
“It’s just another step forward and all about bringing people to racing.”
Garry stressed the need for improved horse tie-ups at the site, which was discussed with NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole in 2018.
“It’ll bring a better class of horses and more people to the track because I can run more horses and the people will stay in town,” Garry said.
Garry said the club wants to make a race day experience as affordable as possible for patrons while still allowing the club to make a profit.
“I’m not happy unless we sell $32,000 worth of beer and wine,” Garry said.
“We sold $53,000 worth of beer and wine on Gold Cup Day (2018)- nobody was drunk and everybody went home sober and behaving themselves.”
He has eyes for the future and hopes younger people will get on board with the club when his tenure comes to an end.
“We’ve got it to a great level and we want to keep it there, if not further,” Garry said.
“I’d love to have someone come in with even more innovative ideas to take the track forward.”
Preliminary plans are underway for a new initiative at May’s Ladies Day race meet.
The first 100 women through the gate will receive a gift bag compiled of items from local chemists.
There will also be a gift voucher for a free glass of champagne as well as a draw to win a trip to Mudgee.
There is also set to be innovation on the track.
“Similar to the Kosciusko and the Everest, we’ll have a ‘Ladies Day Glamour Glitz’ race where women can buy a slot and if their horse wins they can win a quality piece of jewelry,” Garry said.
“it will be a high profile race, top line horses will come like when we ran the Evermore Pearl (in 2018).”
He thanked Evermore, Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club, Bellevue, Club Forster and Hawkesbury Jockey Club for their ongoing assistance to the club.
Garry was presented life membership with Adrian Wood earlier this year.
The duo had races named after them at last month’s Seafood race day.
The jockey club’s next race meeting, the Men of League race day, is on Saturday, March 9.
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