May 10, 2022
The races were a washout out but the Burrandowan Race Club is still very happy about its Centenary celebrations on Saturday.
Months of planning by a dedicated bunch of volunteers had set the stage for a huge day to mark the 1922-2022 anniversary.
Then the clouds came and the rain started; first a light shower, then heavier …
Club president Cameron Redman said most of the huge crowd stayed despite the race meeting being abandoned after Race 1 because of water on the track.
“Honestly, I was very optimistic all day,” Cameron said. “We had so many campers and most people hung around.
“The Fashions of the Field was a rousing success.
“The bar was also huge; the meathouse sold out of meat, and the pizza guy was run off his feet.”
Cameron said that taking everything into account, the day had been a “big success”, both financially and because the crowd seemed to be having a good time.
The day started with the now-traditional shotgun shoot, the first time it had been held at the Burrandowan track for three years due to COVID restrictions.
The Fashions of the Field were shifted back to the verandah because of the rain, but all categories were hotly contested.
The special centenary book, “100 Years of Racing At Burrandowan” by local historian Dr Judith Grimes OAM, was officially launched by Dr E.M (Ted) Fisher OAM, who was the honorary veterinary surgeon at the Burrandowan Races for more than 60 years.
Ted, who is 94, told southburnett.com.au he started at Burrandowan in 1953 and only retired three or four years ago.
And he shared another insight … in all those years he had never seen rain at Burrandowan like Saturday’s downpour!
There were a few other famous faces at the track, too: former champion jockey Malcolm Johnston and retired rugby league legend Steve Renouf were spotted in the crowd.
The open firepit barbecues were lit early and also proved popular with the campers.
Local band Ryza took to the Chahpingah Hall verandah at night and the dancing began …
Footnote: Anyone who is interested in buying a copy of “100 Years of Racing At Burrandowan” should email the Burrandowan Race Club: email@example.com
South Burnett councillor Kathy Duff had a special reason to celebrate the Burrandowan Races centenary.
Her grandparents met at that first Burrandowan Picnic Races in 1922. John Patrick Duff entered “Thunderclap” in the Ladies Bracelet that year, a race which had a bracelet (actually a gold watch and band) as the prize. The horse had to be nominated in the name of a lady, and he picked Dorothea Ruth Mortimer Evans – whom he had just met on race day. Thunderclap won, Duff presented the prize watch to Dorothea, and the couple were married four years later on St Patrick’s Day.
Cr Duff brought along a watch for this year’s winner; she will now present it at the 2023 Burrandowan Cup.
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Fashions Of The Field
The Fashions of the Field went ahead on the verandah of the old Chahpingah Hall after the races were abandoned.
- Vintage Lady – Nancy Nixon (Cooranga North)
- Classic Lady – Sarah Holdsworth (Bundaberg), runner-up Verelle O’Shanesy (Jandowae)
- Best Dressed Gentleman – Chris Ec (Brisbane), runner-up Kyron Tunstall (Kingaroy)
- Millinery – Amy Smoothy (Alice Creek), runner-up Verelle O’Shanesy (Jandowae)
- Contemporary Lady – Rachel McDonell (Bundaberg), runner-up Jess Richmond (Brisbane)
- Best Dressed Couple – Ben & Caitlin Crowley (Toowoomba)
- Best Dressed Kids – Della Tunstall (Kingaroy), Edith O’Shanesy (Ironpot)
- Fashions From Afar – Sarah Holsworth & Chris Ec, runners-up Verelle O’Shanesy & Kyron Tunstall
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Race 1 – Gilliland Livestock Marketing / Patrons Trophy Ratings Band 0-60 Handicap (1050m)
1. Kaliya (3) – Morgan Butler
2. Rapid Eagle (10) – Hannah Richardson
3. True Tally (11) – Hannah Phillips
Margins: 1 1/4 lengths x 2 lengths
The track was rated as “good” at the start of the day before being downgraded to “soft” ahead of Race 1.
Jockeys returning to scale after Race 1 reported being hit by clods of mud and poor visibility due to heavy rain.
The starting time for Race 2 was then put back 45 minutes to allow stewards, jockeys and race club officials to inspect the track, which had been retrospectively downgraded to “heavy”.
Two sections near the 1000m and the 1400m marks were identified as having significant amounts of water lying on the track.
The rest of the meeting was abandoned at 2:45pm.
- Related article: Making History At Burrandowan