PIG DAY OUT: The annual Monto Pig Race is a community highlight, this year raising $1320.
PIG DAY OUT: The annual Monto Pig Race is a community highlight, this year raising $1320. Jack Lawrie

Monto's Pig Day Out a crackling good time

RAISING piglets to race may seem like a handful, but Darryl Zieth has found a way to make it work.

Mr Zieth purchased nine racing pigs as piglets three months ago from a farm at Mt Perry.

He trained them up to compete in the Monto Pig Day Out, where they would be auctioned off and sold to the townspeople.

At first, the piglets were fairly wild, but he eventually managed tame them through positive reinforcement.

"I trained them every afternoon,” Mr Zieth said.

"I set up a track at home and spent an hour teaching them to run to a container with food.”

"Every time they finished a race, I'd give them a little treat like an apple or a pear.”

Ever since last year's event introduced many to the unsung joy of watching pigs race through a wire track, this year's event was hotly anticipated.

The day was organised as a family fun day; in addition to the races, there was a jumping castle and fun activities for the kids, and a bar and horse racing TV feed for the adults.

Despite competition with the Golf Club's Come and Try Day, as well as a higher-than-expected turnout at the Bowls Club's Bras 'n' Bowls event the previous night, the Pig Day Out had little trouble drawing in a large turnout.

In addition to being a source of amusement, the event is also used to fundraise for a cause decided on by the Race Club committee.

Last year, it raised money for the Queensland Cancer Council, this year it was for the Ridgehaven and Monto Hospital general care ward.

The auction of the nine racing pigs alone raised $1320, while an exact figure for the day's take is not yet known.

There were four races - two placement races and two to decide the top and bottom finalists.

In keeping with the theme of the day, the first two races were dubbed the Pickle Pork Gallop and the Apple Sauce Dash, the loser's cup was dubbed the Grunt 'n' Run losers Plate and the final was dubbed the Roast Pork Cup.

The winning pig was sponsored by Monto Cattle and Country, and auctioned to the Monto Punters Club.


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