Since his commencement in 2003, John Buhagiar has overseen the move to Gifford Hill and the on-course stable redevelopment, but said his recent achievement of becoming a life member of the club is a great honour.
For the Murray Bridge Racing Club, John becomes the 37th life member since their establishment in 1899, with current club Chariman, John Leahy presenting John with his life membership.
"The board kept the announcement very secret, so when it was announced at our end of season awards, I was definitely caught off guard.
"A life membership is something you're not entitled to, so it means a lot to me," Buhagiar said.
John's racing experience speaks for itself with over 20-years working for Thoroughbred Racing SA (now Racing SA) in roles covering handicapping, judging and programming, before moving in to his current position as Secretary/Manager for the Murray Bridge Racing Club, which he has held for 19-years.
The club has seen continued growth since the move to Gifford Hill in 2019, and now navigating away from COVID, the focus is on more growth and being seen as a top tier racing destination.
"We still have goals we want to achieve, and high on that list is becoming a premier function centre.
"To offer a great race day experience, coupled with hospitality to match will go a long way to acheiving this," he said.
While the achievement is his, John was thankful for the support he has received during his time at the club saying, that having the right mix of people at the right time make light work of any tasks.
John was extemely thankful to his family as it was a big change for everyone.
"For my family to uproot our lives within the city and move to Murray Bridge, it was a big ask," he said.
Having already commenced their 2022/23 racing season, John is looking forward to seeing a strong crowd attend their first marquee race meeting, the 2022 Carlton Draught Gold Cup, which will be held on Friday, October 14th. This will officially be launched with a luncheon on Friday, September 16th.