Racing on the River: Tambo backs 150 years of winners!

Trial starts, Tambo c.1890 Image courtesy of Charmaine Bailey

Trial starts, Tambo c.1890
Image courtesy of Charmaine Bailey

Keen punters from Western Queensland and beyond gathered in Tambo this year for a very special race meet to mark 150 years of horse racing. In the long history of Queensland racing, Tambo lays claim to the earliest organised race day west of the Great Dividing Range.

With horses being the most common form of transport at the time, it is no surprise that the first organised horse races were held in the district on the 20th and 21st of July 1864, barely one year after the gazetting of the township. No doubt fuelled by community spirit and the posturing of both riders and breeders, the first race was hosted by Henry L. Harden, owner of Northampton Downs station. The event was staged under the name of the Great Western Downs Race Meeting and saw 4 races each day, with 21 horses entered by 14 owners. Prizes included a number of silver trophies, silver spurs, and around 54 sovereigns prize money- not a small sum for the time!

Museum Development Officer Josh Tarrant,  Blackall Tambo Regional Council  Deputy Mayor Cr. Richelle Johnson and The Hon. Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce at the opening of Racing on the River.

MDO Josh Tarrant, Blackall Tambo Regional Council Deputy Mayor Cr. Richelle Johnson and The Hon. Federal Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce at the opening of Racing on the River. Image courtesy of Tambo & District Race Club

To help celebrate the event, the Central Queensland MDO worked with the Tambo & District Race Club to develop and produce Racing on the River, a travelling exhibition exploring the history of racing in the district.

An exciting discovery was made during the exhibition development: the location of the first racing trophy, “The Northampton Downs Cup”. With community assistance, this holy grail of Tambo Racing history was traced back to a private collector in Toowoomba. Mrs Diana Mayall was kind enough to loan the precious piece of history for part of the exhibition.

The exhibition will travel to a number of venues in the Blackall Tambo Region throughout 2014. This project was supported by funding from the Regional Arts Development Fund through Arts Queensland and Blackall Tambo Regional Council partnering to support local arts and culture.

Advertisements

Posted on 8 July 2014, in Josh's Diary, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: