The Melbourne Championship is a yearly equestrian event that attracts millions of spectators from around the globe. Every second day of the week in the beginning of November, the entire Australian population freezes and turns its gaze to the Flemington Racecourse, which is becoming the center of equestrian sports thanks to the Local Racing Club Victoria, which organizes the contest.
This competition is one of the oldest and has been held annually for 161 years. During this time, the rules and format of the race have changed significantly, and the event itself has acquired the status of a national holiday. In 1873, by the decision of the government, race day was declared a holiday so that everyone could enjoy an unforgettable spectacle.
Let’s learn more about the development and growth of the event.
Melbourne Cup History
The official founder of the tournament is a member of the Turf Club Victoria, Fred Standisch. In 1861 he held the first contest with 17 horses competing. The first prize fund was only 710 golden coins, however, it became significantly bigger over the following years. The initial races drew a mass of about 5,000 fans.
Initially, the contest was held at a distance of 3,219 meters, but after switching from the imperial system in 1972, it was decided to shorten the track to 3,200 meters. The contests take place on a turf track.
Horses older than 3 years old take part in the contest. Each charger is balanced according to the Handicap format. The weight carried by the mount must not be less than 57 kilograms.
At the moment, the number of viewers annually is about 120,000 people, and millions of people around the world watch TV broadcasts and online broadcasts on websites.
The prize fund at the moment is about 8 million US dollars, which puts the race on the same list as the most expensive horse races all over the globe.
Modern Melbourne Cup
At the moment, the tournament is one of the most expensive and luxurious worldwide and the most famous in Australia. The championship is known for the fact that it fetters the whole life of the city, as it attracts the attention of all the townspeople, in connection with which the day of the tournament is recognized as an official holiday.
Due to the championship’s long history, it is known for its conservatism and meticulous adherence to tradition. However, it was the Melbourne Cup that allowed women to participate. At the moment, women jockeys and coaches participate on an equal basis with men and are worthy of competition.
Become a Witness to a Unique Event
The Australian competition is truly unique. Its more than 150 years of history provides an unparalleled atmosphere that allows you to touch the atmosphere of old days racing and feel like part of the “royal sport”.
Indulge yourself in the pleasure and join the army of racing fans in Australia!