Posted By John
Horse Racing

Horse racing was one of the first sporting activities organised in the colony and is enjoyed by all class of people in Australia.

The first horses arrived in Australia in January 1788 at Port Jackson – a stallion, four mares, a colt and a filly. This grew to 203 horses in NSW by the year 1810. It peaked in the 19th century with about one horse for every 2 persons in Australia.

Throughout its history, horse racing has become part of the Australian culture and has developed a rich and colourful language as well as providing some of Australia’s great sporting icons such as Phar Lap, Tulloch, Bernborough, Carbine, Kingston Town and Makybe Diva.

Thoroughbred horse racing is the third most attended spectator sport in Australia, behind Australian Rules football and rugby league.

With over 375 race courses, there were almost 2 million admissions in 2002-3. The sport continues to enjoy growth with over 100,000 attracted to the annual running of both the Melbourne Cup and VRC Oaks. In fact, during the 4 main days of the 2008 Spring racing carnival, nearly 400,000 people attended. The Caulfield Cup and W S Cox Plate are also major attractions.

See also on our website 
The Melbourne Cup and Cup Winners
Australian Racing Hall of Fame Winners and Legends
Carbine Wins The Melbourne Cup
Goodbye, Phar Lap, Goodbye
Banjo Paterson’s Dream of the Melbourne Cup
The Goondiwindi Grey


  1. Practical Punting Daily
  2. Horse Racing Australia

Research and Education

  1. RIRDC Equine Research
  2. Charles Stuart University Equine Centre
  3. Murdoch University Veterinary School
  4. Torrens Valley Institute of Tafe Veterinary Centre

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