How things have changed
Have you heard these odd racing facts?
IF YOU have lived in the North Burnett region or Gayndah for all your life, you might think you know everything there is to know about horse racing in Gayndah.
That may be the case, but here are some unusual things that have occurred over the years.
■ On the second day of the first Queensland derby in Gayndah, there were two horses of the same name entered in the first race.
The two horses were both named Nimrod – one was a grey gelding and the other a roan gelding. The grey came second and the roan came third.
It is interesting to think of this in today’s world, it would be a massive problem for race callers and if you were only listening to the race over the radio you would assume they had a stutter.
■ On the third day of racing during the first Queensland derby there were two horses racing by the name of Hermit.
However they were not racing in the same race, only on the same day.
Hermit, the derby winner, was a three-year-old black gelding belonging to Mr Parry-Okedan and the other Hermit was a four-year-old bay gelding belonging to Mr Grout.
■ The youngest jockey to win a group-one race rode in the 1869 Queensland derby on a horse by the name of Zambes.
Zambesi was ridden by William Harris, who was only 10 years old.
Mr Harris passed away on March 10, 1936, aged 77, confirming that he was indeed just 10 years old in 1869 when he rode Zambesi.
He is buried in the Church of England section of the old Monto cemetery.
Could you imagine with the safety regulations that are in place today, there is no way a 10-year-old would be able to ride in a group-one race.
■ In 1870, the Queensland derby was run twice in the same year.
It was run at both Gayndah and Brisbane.
The same horse, Grafton, won both runnings of the race.
■ At the first racing of the derby, all untrained horses had to be approved by the stewards.
Jockeys who did not return to scare faced a fine not exceeding five pounds and if a jockey was underweight the stewards had the discretionary power to fine the jockey up to two pounds.
■ Gate prices for the first derby were each person one shilling, one horse sixpence, two wheels one shilling sixpence and four wheels three shillings.
YOUNG GUN: William Harris, born in 1859, won the Maiden Plate at just 10 years old at one of the earliest races at the Gayndah race track. He is pictured with his family.