Horse Racing in Queensland
Since the very first recorded race meeting that took place in the mid 1800’s at Cooper’s Plains, Queensland has truly bread a culture that deserves great respect when it comes to their thoroughbreds and the races they host.
Queensland is considered to be one of the largest horse racing states in Australia, it is also the 3rd largest populated state carrying a massive total of just under 5 million people. The large amount of residents coupled with the popularity of the horse racing sport it comes at no surpise that this state has more than 16 major horse racing tracks, and that’s excluding the smaller ones like Augathella Racing Club in Augathella.
On the western outskirts of Queensland, Australia, in the Murweh area, you will find the town of Augathella. With a population of only 395 it’s safe to say that Augathella is classified as a small town. The towns events are far and few between with its highlights and attractions consisting of the growing arts centre, a bowls club, the public library, a public swimming pool and of course the popular annual Easter Diggers Rodeo and Races event. This Easter festival brings together the best cowboy and cowgirl talents to test their rodeo abilities. Various other activities take place during the Easter Diggers Rodeo and Races event including horse races, various children’s activities, as well as an attractive offering of food and wine stalls. The most popular horse race around this time is the Augathella Cup.
The Augathella Cup
With the strong horse racing culture that Queensland has, it comes as no surprise that majority of the towns and cities in Queensland have adopted a love for the tracks. Even though Augathella’s main attraction might be the local pool and library during the year, over Easter weekend it’s a whole different story with The Diggers Rodeo and Races event. This is defiantly considered the town’s main event of the year.
The Augathella Cup takes place at the Augathella Racing Club. This popular horse racing event will include a 5 race programme. The day will start off with 2 x 1 000m races, followed by 2 x 1 200m races and then ending off with the last race of the day being the 1 300m. Prizes for the race winners range between $6 000 and $7 800.
This annual event draws in contenders and spectators from all over the country. The usual hustle and bustle of a major horse racing event can be expected on this day. One of the main features of such an event is the ‘Fashions of the Field’ competition. Ladies, and men, and sometimes even the children dress up to the nines, more often than not incorporating an over-sized designer hat. The Fashions of the Field competition includes categories such as best dressed woman, best dressed man, best couple, as well as a few others, whereby all winners win a prize.
Augathella Racing Club has ample parking available. The general entry fee at the tracks is $5, with the gates opening approximately one hour before the first race.