Gympie’s horse-racing pedigree was shown at its best last November, when a novice local syndicate triumphed with their unfancied horse, Vow and Declare, in Australia’s premier horse race, the $8 million Melbourne Cup.
And now the whole community will be able to celebrate the success when the Melbourne Cup is shown off at Gympie Station and then on-board the Mary Valley Rattler for an exclusive event on Friday 3rd April.
Guests are encouraged to dress up in race-style and enjoy the festivities, which will start from 4:30pm with the event charity partner Men of League Foundation function at the historic Gympie Station.
There will be a welcome drink and light refreshments on arrival, along with the opportunity to get up close and personal to the Melbourne Cup, before the race crowd jumps on board the Rattler for the journey to Amamoor Station at 5:30pm. The Cup will ride on the train with a parade through the heritage carriages and photos with the Cup are welcomed.
On-board there will be entertainment and sweeps, as well as a best-dressed competition.
The ticket also includes entry to the Gympie Turf Club on Saturday 4th April for a complete racing weekend.
Vow and Declare not only brought triumph to Gympie, it was the first Australian horse to win the Melbourne Cup since Shocking in 2009, and was actually the only Australian-bred, trained and ridden horse in last year’s race.
The fairy-tale win was made even more poignant by the fact that of the 13-person syndicate – including owners from Gympie – most had never owned a horse before.
“The win was a fantastic boost to the community last November, given we had bushfires nearby and drought throughout the region,” said Mary Valley Rattler General Manager Mike Green.
“Now our valleys are green again and the dams are full, and all those on board will be able to view the fertile farms that make horse breeding such a ‘natural’ for the Gympie region.”
Ticket price is just $79 per person, which includes a return steam train journey, welcome drink and light refreshments on arrival at the historic Gympie Station, on-board entertainment, antipasto & cheese platter at Amamoor, and a ticket to the Gympie Turf Club.
Mr Green said that a contribution from every ticket sold would go to the Men of League Foundation, a charity which helps out members of the local community who’ve fallen on tough times.