Country racing always has a story to tell, but none like King Islands. Situated in the middle of the Western Entrance to Bass Strait, the King Island Racing Club Inc should logistically not have survived it's 123 years of racing.
In 1892 the winner's cheque was paid in wallaby skins, a form of currency in those days. These days, they fly in the stewards, jockeys and bookmakers.
Every September, as the sun unfolds over Bass Strait, it is not just the dairy farmers that are out and about, 80 odd horses are in work, preparing for the summer racing carnival.
Rather uniquely, King Island's race programs are dual code; a mix of gallopers and pacers which both race on the one-mile grass track. A number of clubs throughout the world could lay claim to staging dual meets, but it is unlikely many of them would have them both running on grass.
The main thrust of King Island racing is having fun. Always has been, always will be. Our race club would not have survived the past century if racegoers didn't have one helluva good time!
The first King Island Cup was run in 1892.
To keep the cup it was necessary to win the race three times.
The winner's cheque was paid in wallaby skins, a form of currency in those days.