The richest horse race meet in WA outside the metro area has been cancelled for 2020. Organisers announced this evening that the $120,000 Broome Cup and the town’s entire racing season has been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic. Racing is highly regarded as the tourist town’s main drawcard for visitors, with thousands booking to stay in the Kimberley during the peak season each year and pumping millions into the local economy. The Broome Turf Club is famous for its dirt track and location, across from the picturesque Gantheaume Point and was rated in the top 10 stunning racetracks to see before you die by punters.com.au. Among the 8000 guests at last year’s Broome Cup crescendo were pop star Jessica Mauboy, Sky News reporter Paul Murray and AFL legends Jason Akermanis and Robert “Dipper” DiPierdomenico. The decision came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a string of bans on mass gatherings, eventually restricting indoor venues to just 25 people per 100sqm, as the coronavirus disease continued to sweep the country. BTC manager Paul Rossiter said he was “absolutely devastated” that the tourist mecca would not be able to deliver any racing. “We are very disappointed and still feeling the initial shock of having to do this,” he said. “We understand the importance of everyone’s health and wellbeing, which has to come first. “This is a huge loss to the community and will have flow-on effects to many businesses, who I would like to assure that we did all we could to make sure we could race in 2020. “We will do everything in our power to ensure we are racing in 2021.” All nine meets on the club’s calendar were also affected by the decision, with the popular Kimberley Cup, opening and Ladies’ Day rounds also cancelled. Shire of Derby-West Kimberley president Geoff Haerewa last week said that the Derby Cup was also scrapped for 2020. Kununurra’s racing season is still hanging in the balance, with organisers yet to make a call.