Did you attend the Wagga Gold Cup on Friday? Or perhaps the Town Plate the day before? You may have dressed to impress the Fashions on the Field judges or have had a flutter or two. In all the excitement, did you ever think about the history around you? Did you wonder about others who for over a hundred years have stood in the same spot as you, screaming out “Go! Go!” during a race? The generations of women who, like you, had spent weeks working out what they were going to wear?
Horse racing at Wagga Wagga has a history going back over 160 years. The Murrumbidgee Turf Club was established in 1860 and five years later the land for a racecourse was dedicated; but even before that, horse racing had been extremely popular in Wagga. The first recorded horse race was organised by publican Ginger Roberts on St Patrick’s Day 1849 (the main prize was a silver trophy worth 50 guineas) which was before the Village of Wagga Wagga had even been officially gazetted! And who could forget the legendary (read: notorious) Ten Mile Race of 1868?