XXXX Gold partner Iron Jack have been announced as the sponsor of the 2020 Grafton Cup for this year’s July Carnival.
XXXX Gold partner Iron Jack have been announced as the sponsor of the 2020 Grafton Cup for this year’s July Carnival.

REVEALED: New sponsor announced for Grafton Cup

LONG-TERM Clarence River Jockey Club partner Lion Co. has pledged its support for the 2020 July Carnival, announcing Iron Jack as the sponsor of the Grafton Cup.

While sponsorship rights are usually won at the annual Kensai Club draw, jockey club chief executive Michael Beattie was pleased to see the sponsor step up to help out after a troubling lead-in to the carnival.

“Lion Co. has been our major July Carnival sponsor for as long as most can remember,” Beattie said.

Lion Co. and Tooheys sales representative Mark Singh said he was happy to continue his relationship with the region.

“We’ve had a fairly long standing relationship with the CRJC. Most people are aware the naming rights are done at the Kensai Club, but because they couldn’t this year we wanted to show our support so we stepped up and put Iron Jack forward for the naming rights,” Singh said.

“The last 12 months has been hard on everyone, going from a drought to bushfires to COVID-19. The true Australian spirit comes out in these circumstances and Iron Jack embodies that. It has been one of the brands we’ve been able to use to help those in need. We took part in buy a bale and have donated over $1 million to rural aid.

“It’s still a new brand for us but it’s gaining traction in country areas. We’ve also signed on as the sponsor for the Pro Bull Riding Event in Grafton later on in the year.”

There were doubts over the carnival with coronavirus restrictions wreaking havoc on the planning process, but the return of crowds in small numbers is a positive sign.

“There will definitely be members allowed during the July Carnival, it will just be a question of how many,” Beattie said. “We’ll be moving full steam ahead under our plan and hopefully we’ll be permitted to allow more through the gates as we go.”