The feature race at Trangie on Friday December 29 has been given a name change, to honour Samara Johnson, the much admired jockey who lost her life in a motor vehicle accident last week in the Junee area. Sponsored by Three Rivers Machinery, the 1400 metres main event will now be known in 2017 as the Samara Johnson Memorial Macquarie Picnic Cup. At the 2016 Macquarie Picnics held at Trangie,the Canberra based Samara Johnson was the star performer riding 4 winners including the Cup winner Dalhero for Cowra trainer Neil Smart. Oxford Art and As Easy As both ridden by Samara Johnson became the career first winners for trainers Sarah McIlrick (Parkes) and Micaela Wheeler (Dubbo), respectively, while the other winner for the talented rider was Pimpala Norseman trained at Gilgandra by Colleen Thurston.
At the 2016 Tullibigeal Picnics she also rode 4 winners, Sergeant Bilko (in the Cup), Bunwina, As Easy As and Gagamura. Samara Johnson (25), apart from being an attractive young lady with a delightful personality was also an outstanding horsewoman with success on both the racetrack and in the Show arena. Her first race ride was on Kenjockety at the Cowra Picnics in July 2012 and Kenjockety trained by Garry Kirkup became her career first winner, in a 950 metres Open Handicap at Lockhart.
Feature race winners for Samara Johnson were, Lockhart Picnic Cup (Rite Of Honour), Harden Picnic Cup (Pointing To Gold), Tullibigeal Picnic Cup (Sergeant Bilko), Macquarie Picnic Cup (Dalhero), Ardlethan Picnic Cup (As Easy As), Grenfell Picnic Cup (As Easy As), Boorowa Picnic Cup (Black Fusion), Young Picnic Cup (Liability Adjuster). Next meeting for Samara Johnson was to be the Macquarie Picnics at Trangie. Garry Kirkup, the Canberra based trainer and partner of Samara, was critically injured in the accident and remains in hospital.