Rocky racing siblings follow in grandparents' footsteps
RACING: Bringing the glitz and glamour to Rockhampton's Callaghan Park racecourse this year are the fresh-faced siblings, John and Shannyn Hopkins.
Yesterday morning, Rockhampton Jockey Club CEO Tony Fenlon announced that the Rockhampton locals and racing prodigies had been named as this year's racing ambassadors.
John and Shannyn's grandparents are well-known horse racing owners and trainers, John and Margaret Cooney.
Their grandparents are known for training memorable Rockhampton horses such as Go Garla and Bay Poet.
Though the pair will not be directly involved in the racing side of the club's events, nor have they been involved in producing winning thoroughbreds on course, John and Shannyn are hoping to boost the profile of local racing events and encourage locals to become more involved in the social side of racing.
"They're both very well known in the fashion world of racing and have won many Fashion on the Field events across the state, not just locally,” Fenlon said.
"We're proud to have them on board this year.
"They're from an extremely well-known racing family.
"It's about supporting the local racing industry and bringing a younger generation back to the course, having a dress up day and enjoying the races.”
John, 26, and Shannyn, 20, will be the faces of the 2019 calendar events, with their first engagement on March 23 at the Rockhampton Jockey Club Racing Gala Ball.
"The following month is the Capricorn Yearling Sales weekend from April 12-14 and they will feature there,” Fenlon said.
"Then when we head into the winter racing carnival, they will be heavily involved in the commercial side of the social scene.
"Through social media, the way they dress, the way they promote themselves and racing, we think they're going to hold the club in good stead for the younger generations to look up to and enjoy a day at the races which is what it's all about.
"We feel they'll just be a good fit for our club.”
Shannyn said her passion lies in the Fashions on the Field event, which the pair will join in on judging this year.
"There's some amazing prizes to be won,” she said.
John encouraged young people to become more involved in local racing events and become part of the "horse racing scene”.
"It's a social event and it's about getting out, meeting new people and just enjoying the day,” he said.
"It's a great social day and fantastic for everyone to be involved in.
"One of the exciting events we're looking forward to next month is the Racing Gala Ball. It's a good opportunity for everyone to get together.
"We're looking forward to getting involved, talking to everyone, getting on course and being seen and encouraging everyone to have a good time.”