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The starting gates opened on the first of 36 Interislander Summer Festival events yesterday at Wingatui Racecourse, giving established local jockey Jacob Lowry the opportunity to show his mettle.
Lowry said racing was in his blood.
Both his grandfather, Brian Anderton, and uncle, Shane Anderton, were established horse trainers and well known within the racing community in Mosgiel and beyond.
While he was the only jockey in his family, many of his relatives were involved in racing.
''The whole family chips in. It's a family affair.''
One of the biggest challenges was keeping his weight down for races, he said.
Although the racing came naturally, ''keeping everything else in tow is the main thing''.
''I'm lucky I'm light enough to do it.''
One of the main reasons he enjoyed the sport was the adrenaline rush he received when out on the track.
''It doesn't feel like a job to me.''
It felt like he was getting paid to pursue his passion and hobby.
''You can never lose that.''
The Summer Festival event at Wingatui Racecourse was one of 36 being held around the country between Boxing Day and early February.
South Island club liaison manager James Brown said it was ''one of the best crowds that's been here''.
Just ''shy of 1000 people'' made their way to the race track near Mosgiel.
Activities for children included a bouncy castle, sack races, three-legged races and a junior fashion section.