COUNTRY racing is alive and well and living at Longford.
Secretary Robert Biffin said that organisers were delighted with yesterday's 4500-strong crowd, many of who pitched umbrellas or gazebos, packed champagne and a picnic lunch and made a day of it.
Brendan Ryan, of Kayena, stood out from most of the men.
With wife Karen on his arm, Mr Ryan was one of a select group of men for whom the singlets, tee-shirts, shorts, jeans and thongs, so favoured by the majority of his sex, were not an option.
"We've been coming to Longford for the races for four years now and always enjoy getting dressed up," Mr Ryan said.
Mrs Ryan said that couple did not "do" New Year's Eve.
"We do New Year's Day and that means Longford races," she said.
Longford friends Kerri Long and Michelle Street attended yesterday's races and were well- entrenched long before the first race started.
"We set up the gazebo Monday morning," the regular Longford Cup goers explained.
Patsy Hawksley, of Ravenswood, was attending her second Longford Cup.
"Work and children stopped me from discovering it any earlier, but I'm a dedicated follower now - it's a good day," Mrs Hawksley said.
"I love the atmosphere and being able to get dressed up."
Sue Rees, of Invermay, runs the Fashions on the Field competition.
"It's really enjoyable - there's a more relaxed feel to Longford that Launceston, but everyone enjoys dressing up and we're starting to see more people dressing up as if they are going to the Launceston Cup," Ms Rees said.