Yabby Racing in Menindee

It's Spring Carnival for yabbies at Menindee's Albermale Hotel on 30 October with yabby racing, live music and entertainment and food from 4pm as part of the town's Fishing Competition.

'Thoroughbred' yabbies will be auctioned before each race with their new owners having the chance to win their share of a prize pool for the top three placed yabbies.

Menindee yabby racesOrganiser and Central Darling Shire Councillor, Lorraine Looney, says that the annual Fishing Competition attracts participants from all over the Far West region.

"Now, with the lakes full, we are seeing up to 300 visitors a day in town," she said. "The whole atmosphere of the town has changed completely since the water arrived at Easter and yabby racing will be a fun time out for both visitors and locals."

At the Yabby Barrier Trials I attended at the Albermale Hotel on 15 October, line honours were taken by the aptly-named Speedy Gonzalez who won by a claw length from Dumb Blonde.  However the race was not without controversy with one yabby reported for biting the Steward at the start.

Race Steward and local yabby trainer, Bob Looney, with tongue firmly in cheek, said that the yabby, Dr Doolittle, came from the Nursing Service Stables.

"I expect our post-race inquiry to find that they were trying to drum up business for the Health Service," he said.

Bruce's tip for punters on 30 October? "Look on the form guide for yabbies from the Anabranch," he says. "They breed mean in those tough conditions."

Image: Off and racing in the Menindee Yabby Barrier Trials on 15 October.

Photograph: Andrew Warren