King Island Races

KING ISLAND HORSE RACING CARNIVAL - November/January
 
King Island Racing carnivalThe King Island Race Club Inc. holds seven race meetings each season at the North Road Racecourse Complex in Currie. These are held during the December/January period with a field of approximately 40 gallopers and 25 harness horses. Every New Years Day, the King Island Cups are run in the galloping and pacing codes on the 1600m turf track.
 
It is a unique day of racing, having both codes running on the same day. In the early days, it was nothing for a horse to arrive pulling the jinker with the family aboard and then run in one or even two races and then pull the jinker home, so the present program seems quite natural to the older community.
 
The King Island Race Club has been established for over 100 years with the first meeting held on donated land at Porky's Flat (near Loorana) on 1st January, 1882. Only two races were held that day followed by a turkey lunch and an afternoon of various sporting events. From this start, racing became a very important social and sporting event for the people of the Island. Many different venues were used initially, Sea Elephant Bay to name one, until the present site was established.
 
Most of the first races were flat races and hurdles and in 1896 the first trotting race was included in the program. Races were chosen according to the horses ability and the capability of the riders who were usually the owner or his son or someone who worked for the owner. Membership was 10 shillings and 6 pence (at the time kangaroo skins sold for 14 shillings a dozen and sometimes payment was made with skins). More and more settlers became involved as time passed and by New Years Day 1910 there were 500 in attendance. By this time betting was allowed on the course and ladies were allowed to become Honary Members. Also the cost of membership had decreased to 7 shillings - because there were so many members!
 
King island RacingRace Days are relaxed community gatherings with refreshments and food readily available. The King Island Race Club boasts full TOTE and Sky Channel facilities, a bookmaker and race broadcaster.
 
Trials are held in November for both codes preceding commencement of race meetings.
 
For more information on these dates please go to the King Island Racing Club website www.kiracing.com.au