LOCAL horse racing enthusiast Kevin Hetherington was a familiar face at Sunday’s Bega Cup.
Mr Hetherington, of Bega, was attending the annual Cup for the 70th time.
His love affair with the event began at just 12 years of age when he rode his pony into town to watch the Cup at the old Bega racecourse in 1943.
Since then, Mr Hetherington, 81, has been a regular on Bega Cup race day.
Mr Hetherington attended Sunday’s meeting with his family, wife Barbara, daughter Ann, son-in-law Craig Barber and grandchildren Mark and Megan Zonneveld.
Mr Hetherington said he felt “very lucky” to reach the 70-year milestone.
“It’s always been a great race, it takes a pretty good horse to win it,” he said.
Mr Hetherington’s interest in the sport began at an early age, leading to him and his father sending horses into sprint races.
Mr Hetherington was a committee member at the old Bega racecourse, where he was renowned for being “hard working and active”, according to Barbara.
He also has a life membership with the Sapphire Coast Turf Club.
Mr Hetherington said he used to try attend most races held in the local area, but now focuses on the Bega Cup.
When asked about his favourite memories of the Cup, Mr Hetherington remembers when Scot’s Tom won three races in the 1960s.
Other highlights include the time Catoomb, trained by Bega’s “Nugget” Wheatley, recorded victory.
The 2013 Bega Cup was taken out by Domidor by 1.8 lengths from Fair Nation, while Quichang finished third.