Monday, August 9, 2010

History of Horse Racing in Cooma Monaro


The first record of an organised horse race meeting is gained from the issue to Joseph Ward, on 25th February, 1855, of a publican's booth license, for races to be held at Tea Tree Flat on 20th., 21st., and 22nd March, the license being operative from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. Another meeting was held at the same place on 26th. and 27th. October of the same year. In June, 1856, booth licenses for races were granted to Joseph Ward and James Hain, publicans of Cooma, and Alexander Walker Davidson, of Reid's Flat (now Bunyan), and the two first named secured licenses for a meeting on 17th, 18th and 19th March, 1857, and another meeting on Boxing Day.

Later, races were conducted on Cooma Creek, the finishing post being somewhere near where the Co-operative Mill was afterwards erected. These are the premises that, until recently, were used by Messrs. Ruddin and Co. as Freezing Works.

The first authentic race programme it has been possible to discover is printed on a single sheet of paper, and is headed, "Beresford Picnic Races, 1867." It comprises six events, and a perusal of it indicates the bottom of the horses belonging to the pioneers. The Maiden Plate, The Ladies' Purse, and The Beaten Stakes, were each run over a mile and a half course; The Bachelor's Bag was two miles, with 11Ist. up; in the big race, The Picnic Cup, horses were asked to run three miles carrying w.f.a. to win a prize of £IO/10/0, whilst the Hack Race was run in mile heats, also w.f.a. The name "Beresford" was probably adopted from the fact that Cooma is within the county of Beresford. On 15th August, 1871, an area of 320 acres was dedicated as a recreation reserve, and on this racing has since been conducted. The body controlling the sport has seen many ups and downs, but is now in a flourishing condition. It has had quite a number of changes of title, and in 1895 was known as the Manaro Jockey Club. In 1896 it became the Cooma Racing Club.

The ground on which the meetings are held is about two miles out of town. Its appointments are good, and it has a well laid out course. The present secretary is Mr. J. C. Martin who, over thirty years back, was a vice-president of the club and a successful horse owner. Names that occur as intimately associated with racing and the Cooma Race Club are Messrs. J. H. Montague, Rolfe, Kaufline, Delaney, Eccleston, Woodcroft, Brooks, Cosgrove, and Harnett. The Club not infrequently holds meetings for the benefit of the Cooma Hospital.

Cooma Races - Sundowner Cup Saturday 4th December 2010

Trainer wins his third cup

Cooma Monaro Express


09 Dec, 2008 11:08 AM

Gangleri has taken out this year's Cooma Cup over 1600 metres in convincing fashion in front of a crowd of more than four and a half thousand people. Jockey Kevin Sweeney never had too much doubt about the result."I thought we were going to be very hard to beat all the way through the race, we travelled so well, and I thought it was going to take something special to beat us," he said.

Gangleri has now won four out of its last seven starts, which trainer Darryl Rolfe said was a surprise after the start to his career."When I got him, Kevin rode him in a barrier trial and he thought this is one of the slowest horses I've ever bought. He just matured with age and he has come good," he said.

This is Rolfe's third Cooma Cup having taken out the event back in 1991 and 1992 so it has been a fair while between drinks for the trainer."I was fairly confident the way he has been going. He had a good run in Canberra last week and he's hit a real purple patch," Rolfe said.

At the presentation, it was appropriate that a real legend of the Cooma Monaro Racing Club, Frank Boller, was recognised and remembered for his outstanding contribution to the club. Frank passed away last Tuesday and his family was on hand to accept the sincere condolences of president Mick Schofield, the committee and the Cooma racing fraternity. Frank was club secretary for more than 18 years and one of only four life members.

Cooma-Monaro Race club secretary Ezio Deotto said it was an emotional day for everyone at the club.
"As Frank was a life member we wish we could have done more for him, we may name a race after him, that's definitely something we will consider for the future," he said

Of the race day, Mr Deotto said: "It was one the best Cooma Race days ever, the fashions of the field gets more popular each year, we even ran out of beer at one point, so it was good to see people enjoying themselves," he said.

Miss Canberra won the other feature race of the day, the Sundowner Cup over 1400 metres, with jockey Shane Pawsey onboard the filly. Pawsey believed it was a good result considering how new the horse was to racing. "She's always been a bit slow to begin and she's still a little bit green, I think that was only about her fifth start today," he said.

The win was a relief for trainer Mick Miladinovic who has struggled with Miss Canberra due to chronic shoulder problems. For Miladinovic the win was a massive relief after 12 months without a horse first past the post. "Look, honestly this is huge for me, because it's been a year and I just couldn't win a race. No matter what I've done, how good the horse was, something went wrong, but this was magic today," Miladinovic said.

The feature race winning trainers have no plans for their victorious horses at this stage and like many Cooma residents were looking forward to the celebrations of last Saturday night.

Jockey Kevin Sweeney being congratulated by chairman of Country Racing NSW Gordan Lindley on his victory in the Cooma Cup a the family of Frank Boller look on.

Cooma Race Club Presents "Sundowner Cup" Saturday 4th December 2010

Come to the Ti Tree race course for the biggest Race Day in Cooma. Held annually with the main race being 'Sundowner Cup', named in honour of the movie 'The Sundowner's' filmed in and around Cooma and Adaminaby in 1959. One thousand locals where extras at the Ti-Tree Racecourse when the race scene was filmed. Come and experience a great day out at the Races.

Sponsorship, Catering and Marque Packages now available please Contact Mick Schoefield on