Despite a return to the winter chill, the annual Ag Races saw no drop in attendance.
A preliminary headcount on Saturday brought the door tally to 7,000 race-goers which is an 500 person increase on last year’s event.
“We’ve had years when the rain kept the horses from running at all and crowds still turned up then,” said Wagga Ag Club committee member Aimee Bolton.
“Especially with the ball [on Friday] and recover [event on Sunday], people tend to book in for the whole weekend and will be here no matter the weather.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the inauguaral race day, which was founded in support of Charles Sturt University Ag College old boy Peter Worsley.
Mr Worsley suffered an injury during a 1987 university rugby match that left him a quadriplegic.
An additional $7,450 was raised in support of the Drought Angels at the annual ag ball on Friday night.
“People really did give big money this year,” said Ms Bolton.
“Every year we auction the younger boys off as butlers to wait on tables.
“Usually they get about $300 to $500 but [this year] one of them went for $2900.”
Aside from the fundraising and the horses, the races have grown to become one of Wagga’s premier fashion events.
“I started planning about a week ago, but some people spend months putting together their outfits,” said Ms Bolton.
“There’s a lot of girls who get decked out every year, and the boys really get into it too.”
For some, the months of planning was thwarted by unprecedented weather.
Cold winds of up to 32 kilometres an hour brought the top to an overcast 16 degrees.
A few milimetres of rain also began just at the commencement of the day.
But the conditions were welcomed by emergency services.
“When it’s a hot day we tend to have more incidences, a lot involving dehydration,” said Josh Beer of the university’s Red Frogs Crew.
“Every year there’s at least one person who goes too hard from the start and might need a little help, but no-one has really needed it this year so that’s great.”
Known for their signature red frog lollies, this year the team of students was on hand to provide other free refreshments.
“We don’t usually have donuts but when we do they’re a big hit,” said Mr Beer.