Almost the entire population of Central Australia at the turn of the century had more than a passing interest in racing, and it is through the influence of these people that the ‘sport of (the cattle) kings’ in the Centre evolved.
Included is a brief history of the early pioneers and settlers in the area, as the history of horse racing and the first non-indigenous people in the area are inseparable – they grew up together.
The early settlers and prospectors who came to the Centre last century lived a hard life, pitting manpower and horsepower against the forces of nature in an arid and often inhospitable country. They battled against almost impossible odds striving to reach a goal; and with dogged determination and hard work, many achieved their ambition. Many didn’t. But they loved a challenge!
Horse racing provided not only a challenge but the annual picnic races became a social event offering relief from their isolation, and often much sought after companionship.