Saturday, August 11, 2012
Louth Races (Horse Racing)
Racing in the village of Louth, situated on the banks of the Darling River 100km SW of Bourke and 132km NW of Cobar, dates back as far as 1880 when the Louth Christmas Races were held on the 27th December of that year. Featuring a two race program, the two mile open handicap with prize money of 60 sovereigns and a maiden plate over one and a quarter miles with prize money of 15 sovereigns.
The next documented races were in 1889 and were staged over two days with five races and a two mile hurdle event on the first day followed by an eight race program on the following day. The most successful starter was a horse named ‘Winnie’ who was placed first in three races, carrying a weight of ten stone ( her opponents were only carrying around eight stone).
These early race meetings may have provided inspiration for Henry Lawson's 'Louth on the Darling' in which he described Louth as a place that loved a drink, a punt and a party!
Not a lot has changed for Louth in that respect and they have a reputation for staging a great party - an annual race meeting that keeps the crowds coming back year after year... racegoers love the sheer isolation of Louth, the colourful bush characters and the experience of watching the horses thunder past the winning post in a cloud of dust.
These days the club stages a 7 race program, with prizemoney of $42,500 plus trophies and sashes. Sky Channel will be in operation for off-course and interstate punters and all the usual amenities such as betting fluctuation, bar, barbecue and afternoon tea will on course for the full utilization of patrons.