Young gun wins 25th cup
Lancelin’s Lara Scaddan fulfilled a childhood dream when she rode her nine-year-old gelding Gunsmoke to win the Kulin Cup on Saturday.
The 27-year-old, pictured, also won the Pingaring Plate in front of a sell-out, record crowd at the Kulin Bush Races’ 25th anniversary.
The town at the epicentre of the Tin Horse Highway phenomenon burst to life at the weekend for a silver anniversary celebrated with a sellout, record crowd. But it was an extra-special meeting for a local farmer, who is preparing to hand over the chairman’s reins after 25 years, writes Cally Dupe.
Every Kulin Bush Races meeting is a special one for Graeme Robertson, one of the original community members who put their heads together 25 years ago to create the event.
With a self-described “obsession” with bettering Kulin, and a love of country race meetings, Mr Robertson was well into the thick of things last weekend.
But this year was a bit different for the Kulin farmer, who has dedicated a large part of his life to the burgeoning event.
It was likely his last as president, with plans to hand the role over to his deputy chairman Tom Murphy in coming weeks — someone Mr Robertson says will “be bloody great”.
Mr Robertson was just a young buck when he signed up as chairman of the inaugural bush races, which was held on October 6 and 7, in 1995.
With self-confessed innocence and naivety, the community loosely based its first event on Victorian country picnic race meetings.
They decided to “have a crack”, and at the amphitheatre of the Jilakin Rock and Jilakin Lake, volunteers carved out a man-made track and started to build infrastructure.
A list of pros and cons about founding the event came up with significantly more cons — with no money, no experience, no horses and a fear of failure.
But in the end, the event’s one pro,“it should be great fun”, prevailed and the Kulin Bush Races was born.
At a special ceremony on Friday night, Mr Robertson was presented with life membership for the event
he helped to found all those years ago. In presenting the award, longterm volunteer Robbie Bowey said Mr Robertson had been an integral stitch in the fabric of the community.
“Graeme was an enthusiastic initiator of the event and despite lack of funds to get it started, he was happy to proceed and take it forward,” she said.
“He encouraged the community to come forward with ideas, to have a go and make the event the success it is today.”
The 25th event went off with a bang, raising $150,000 for the community as a record crowd celebrated 25 years. Festivities started Friday, when more than 3000 people gathered at the track at the base of the Jilakin Rock on the Luccesshi family’s farm.
The night kicked off with a novelty tin horse race and entertainment by acoustic musician Hayden McGlinn and roots-rock singer
Laine Wolfe. Once the sun set, the crowd gathered in the bar area and danced the night away to Australian Rock Collective and Slim Jim and The Phatts.
The crowd swelled to its sell-out, record-breaking crowd of 4100 on Saturday.
Lara Scaddan, of Lancelin, scooped the feature race of the weekend — The Kulin Cup — on her horse Gunsmoke, followed closely by Marge Ojapold on Bullsbrook Boy, and Penny Knight on Imabatu.
With eight races, there was plenty to see on Saturday, with fashions on the field, tin horse races, a 9G Tractor Race, two-up, kids’ tug of war and more.
Mr Robertson said enjoyed seeing young people return to the town to help run the event.
“I don’t know whether I have a real passion for making Kulin the best it can be, or if it is an obsession, it depends who you talk to,” he joked. “It has given me a real sense of satisfaction. Being honoured with a life membership is a humbling experience.”
Mr Murphy first moved to Kulin in 1999, where he met his wife Fiona and the pair stayed in town for two years.
After a few years on the east coast, he returned to town four years ago and became involved with the races straight away.
Mr Murphy said he had learned a lot through Mr Robertson and hoped to “carry on the legacy”.
Next year’s Kulin Bush Races will be held on October 3 and 4.
A silver anniversary was celebrated in style in the regions last weekend at the 25th anniversary of Kulin Bush Races.
The sold-out picnic horse racing event attracted a record crowd of 4100 through the gates and the Jilakin Rock racetrack was heaving with patrons from across the state.
With eight races held throughout the afternoon, it was Lancelin’s Lara Scaddan that scooped the win of the feature race — the Kulin Cup — on Gunsmoke.
There was a changing of the guard when Kulin Bush Races inaugural chairman Graeme Robertson passed the reins to local resident Tom Murphy.
The changeover was made official on Friday night when Mr Robertson was presented with a life membership to Kulin Bush Races for his service.
This year’s event raised a whopping $150,000 for the local community.
Next year’s event will be held on October 2 and 3.
Kulin Bush Races president-in-waiting Tom Murphy and outgoing president Graeme Robertson at the race track.
Renee Willis, Holly Ludeman, and Kulin Bush Races fashions on the field guest judge Nicole Jameson.
Kulin Cup 2019 winner Lara Scaddan flanked by runner-up Marge Ojapold and third-placed Penny Knight.
The 9G tractor race at Kulin Bush Races.
The novelty sheep race kicks off.
Amber Spooner, 4, of Bakers Hill.
Holly Ludeman, Renee Willis and Kulin Bush Races fashions on the field guest judge Nicole Jameson.
Nationals WA MLC Martin Aldridge with wife Dale Sparks and children Piper, 4, Dominic, 3, and Casper, 5. Sara Ballard and Max Ballard, 12, of Narrogin, with Hammer the Polo Player tin horse.
Female fashions on the field group winners Fiona Mochrie, Lynne Makon, Annette Robinson, Sally Boobbyer, Marcia Snow and Caroline Berryman.
Ty Kirby, of Nyabing, Chris Kirby, of Beacon, Ian Caddy, of Perth and Ian Anderson, of Perth.
Patrice Duffy, Sharon Baker and Steve Taylor, all of Perth.
Cody Power and Kayla Hyde, of Clackline, with their son Flynn Power, 4.
Brian McKinney, of Kalgoorlie, and Steve Maddock, of Perth.
Glen and Amelia Cook, with their eight-month-old daughter Georgina Cook.
Danci Pusenjack and Irene Hills, of Mandurah.
Kulin Bush Races best-dressed female Kelsie Foss and Jude Foss, of Bruce Rock.
Kulin Bush Races president Tom Murphy and son Sam Murphy, 4.
Clive and Lyn Croxford, of Perth.
Annette Robinson, of Perth, and Gary Carruthers, of Lake Grace.