9 September 2023

Hop to the horses and sample Canberra's tastiest beverages

| Morgan Kenyon
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ground action shot of racehorse and smiling jockey

Thoroughbred Park will host the region’s best food and liquor producers at the upcoming Hops & Hooves festival race day. Photo: Canberra Racing Club.

Beautiful spring weather, live music and mouth-watering food, beer, wine and spirits at every turn, all set to the backdrop of Canberra’s finest thoroughbred racing. What better way to spend your Saturday?

Thoroughbred Park, home of the Canberra Racing Club, will once again celebrate the region’s best producers with its popular Hops & Hooves festival race day.

Held on 23 September, the festival will bring together dozens of household-name vendors, an eight-race day on the track and live displays of group one racing from around the country.

With local favourites like BentSpoke, Underground Spirits, Cypher, Canberra Distillery and more set to attend, the day promises to be fun and frolic-filled.

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Claudia Roughley is Underground Spirits’ proud CEO. The small-batch distillery also partnered with Thoroughbred Park earlier in the year, celebrating the Canberra Racing Carnival’s 50th anniversary with a commemorative Black Opal gin.

“We always enjoy working with Thoroughbred Park and are excited to see people from all walks of life come together for a fun day out,” Claudia says.

“We will serve gin and tonics with fresh, fruity cocktails and mocktails in our beautiful gin garden that spills gently onto the grass. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the sunshine and maybe even snap a few photos to post on your socials.

“People care about where their food and drink comes from more now than ever before. It’s a really important initiative for Underground Spirits to be part of.”

As a supporter of Canberra sporting clubs, cultural groups and arts organisations, the BentSpoke team is more than happy to jump on Thoroughbred Park’s ‘love local’ bandwagon.

“Hops & Hooves is another great example of Thoroughbred Park showcasing the amazing diversity of their facility and thinking outside the box to develop Canberra’s racing offering while supporting homegrown business,” regional sales manager Lynton MacPherson says.

You can catch BentSpoke on entering. They will serve up a cross-section of beers for visitors to enjoy in our comfy beer garden.

“We will have seasonal and limited editions on offer, including our Cluster 8 IIPA, Muthur Funker barrel-aged sour and Flemm flemish red ale, as well as long-time favourites like Crankshaft IPA and Barley Griffin pale ale.”

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Thoroughbred Park marketing manager Robbie Ringland says Hops & Hooves is a relaxed social affair that highlights quality producers and celebrates racing as a sport with an engaged, enthusiastic culture attached.

“Hops & Hooves is all about loving, living and celebrating all things local,” he says.

“We’ve expanded since 2022 to host a world-class mix of local, regional and interstate vendors and feature performances by Baker Boys Band throughout the day.

“We look forward to seeing our long-time visitors, and welcoming newcomers by introducing them to the most incredible producers we know.”

Canberra’s Soul Defender truck will also make an appearance in all her hot-pink glory! With so much on offer to supplement a great line-up of Australian thoroughbred racing, Hops & Hooves is not a day to be missed.

The 2023 Hops & Hooves festival is on 23 September. Gates open at 12 noon. Get your tickets from Ticketek.

For more information on upcoming events and race days, visit Thoroughbred Park.


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Disappointed we’re still promoting this kind of activity in 2023.

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