Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.
In the beginning…
Way back in the Spring of 1882, a group of 150 owners, managers and stockmen came together on the South Australian and Queensland border for the first – and unofficial – Birdsville Races event. They managed to raise nearly 200 pounds by public subscription, enough to draw a significant crowd at the time – but a far cry from the $200,000 in prize money on offer today. Instead of bookies standing trackside, bets were settled at ‘Tucker’s Hotel’ – a dignified affair after the last race was called.
What happened next reads like a movie script, and the first iteration of the Birdsville Race Club was born.
The community gathered at Burt and Co.’s large iron store and the ‘Border Jockey Club’ was formed, being 42 members strong. Stewards were appointed, a working committee elected, and the next race meeting was fixed for July, 1883. Now, well over a century later, the race continues to grow as an iconic Australian event – and something that is high on many people’s ‘bucket list’.