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Locals and visitors watched from the stands as nine races were held throughout the day.
The event had a range of entertainment, including children's activities, magic shows and the women's fashion in the field competition.
Wayne Cockburn, of Palmerston North, who was visiting family, said he was enjoying the races and his time in the South.
"I actually find the South Island people here friendlier than the North Island people."
The fashion competition was held in the afternoon.
Virginia Pile, of Invercargill, who was a finalist, said she expected the crowd to be large, despite the proposed future closure of the racecourse.
The feature race, the Riverton Cup, was held just before 4pm, and was won by local horse Lil Miss Swiss, trained by Aimee and Kelvin Tyler.
The races continue today.