Yes! They are racing…




Best race day by a country mile!

Pencil Saturday October 24 in your diary now…

Torbanlea Picnic Races are a must see in the region’s annual event calendar. The race track at Torbanlea was first created in 1890 as a half mile track that had no rails, and dodged trees and stumps along the way. Twenty years on it was extended to five furlong, and in 1946 finally extended to six furlongs.


By 1951 the race day had dwindled, with no more racing at Torbanlea until the late 1970’s. Local support recreated the picnic races, firstly with the local Lions club for a few years, and then with the Torbanlea Recreation Reserve committee who continue to run it today.

Camels raced in 2007 when Equine Influenza stopped the horses, but in 2008 the horses were back, and the event was bigger and better than ever.

“We have a program that will entertain people of all ages, with good old fashioned fun,” says Bradley Roderick of the organising committee. We want everyone to have a great day, it’s the best family day out for the year.”


Seven races on the track start with the Stock Horse Open Challenge, which used to be the Coal Miners Challenge. These days, with no local coal mines, this event is open to all comers. If you’ve ever fancied winning a horse race, perhaps this one will suit you.

“We’d welcome some more comers, especially for the stock horse open. There must still be riders about the place who can handle a sprint and want a bit of excitement,” says John Charlton race steward. “This is for amateurs, not the professionals, so give us a call.”

Then there’s the 400m Maiden, 500m Open, 800m Open, Maiden 500m, Open 500m, Challenge 800m, and in between times there will be so much action trackside you will be amazed.

The John McRae Tug-O-War in teams of seven is an annual highlight, guaranteed to get the crowd roaring. The Woodchop, chainsaw and cross cut saw displays another popular highlight on the day.

There are rides, stalls, entertainment, food to choose from, and of course on site camp sites, with hot and cold showers for those who want to make a weekend of it.

The committee would like to hear from anyone who has mementoes or photos of race days of old, to celebrate Q150, and more than 120 years since the first horse race at Torbanlea


For more details & media enquiries please contact :

Edith Rutherford cellphonex073 0409 609 971


For racing nominations please contact steward:

John Charlton (evenings) red-dial-phone(07)41299 004

Received and published by Henry Sapiecha 28th July 2009