One hundred and fifty seven years ago, the Coonamble district held their first race meeting on Patrick McMahon’s Geanmoney run on the western side of the Castlereagh River. These race meetings were informal affairs organised among friends who had travelled to town on horseback. Later the group started a Jockey Club and raced at a track which encircled the old cemetery. Within ten years there were 40 horses stabled in Coonamble for local race meetings held on surrounding properties. In 1878 the site of the present racecourse was approved and a grandstand built.
The very first recorded Gold Cup was held in 1910 followed by a second one in 1911. There are no records of further gold cups until 1959, with the subsequent Cups being run as an important event in the Coonamble Wool Festival. The 1969 Coonamble Gold Cup race meeting was abandoned due to wet weather however after much banter about whose horse would have won the race, the then Coonamble Jockey Club president, Mr Edward Kennedy (“Kensington”) and Warwick Farm trainer John Poletti had a foot race down the main street to settle the score!
These days you can enjoy a traditional country race meeting set next to the rolling greens of the golf course on the edge of town. With regular events you can view the spectacle from the historic grandstand or gardens while enjoying the bar and catering facilities. The Coonamble Jockey Club is also an excellent venue for your next function, expo or wedding.
You’ll find us out west where the people are friendlier, the dirt is redder and the beer is colder.