A rich history

The present location of the Racecourse is only 50 years old due to Adaminaby moving for the Snowy Hydro Scheme and the making of Lake Eucumbene. The buildings were moved from the Old Racecourse which now is under the waters of Lake Eucumbene.
The original races were called Seymour, Chalker’s or Adaminaby.

Grand Dennis & Fred Shanley

A race to the finish

Adaminaby’s original racecourse – circa 1955

Manaro Mercury, Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, Friday 13 March 1863
An adjourned meeting of Subscribers and others, favourable to the formation of Anual Races at Seymour, Adaminaby, will be held at Mr S Freebody’s In, on Monday 23rd instant, 3pm sharp, for the election of Stewards, and arranging the programme of the races to come off on Easter Monday the 6th of April

Manaro Mercury, Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, Friday 10 April 1863
These races came off on the course at Seymour, better known as Adaminaby or Chalker’s, on Easter Monday, the 6th instant. The meeting was large for the place, and the racing good. As usual, the Messrs. Chippendale had it all their own way, and deservedly so, for if people go to the trouble of breeding and training good horses, they deserve to profit by their exertions.
The first race was the maiden plate of $10, with a sweep of $1 each added; one mile and a half; weight for age.
The start took place about noon. Three horses started, and the race was won by Mr Chippendale’s bal filly Io, beating two others, Mr Delaney’s old horse Rory having run very close.
The second race was the Town Plate of $12, which was won, after a good race, by Chippendale’s Anie Laurie, somewhat to the astonishment of the Four Mile men, who thought they had a big ‘pot’ in Charley, a horse belonging to that quarter.
The Ladies’ Purse of $10 was won by a roan horse, the name of which we did not ascertain. Mr Delaney’s old favourite Rory won a place in gallant style, and Charley assured the Beaten Stakes, after a sharp struggle.
Several private matches were run, and well contended.
Mr Markham, Superintendent of Police, and Mr Gordon, sub-inspector, were on the course, on their return from Kiandra, with the police stationed at the Fryingpan, and had some work to do, as a good many fights took place – which were, however, easily disposed of.
Music and dancing at both the public houses was kept up until early dawn. This hasty sketck does not convey all the particulars.

Manaro Mercury, Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, Saturday 8 July 1882
The race between Mr James Berrigan’s horse Roolee and Mr Frank Lett’s horse Happy Jack, which was the chief topic of conversation, came off as advertised on the 28th instant. The morning was cloudy and dull, but towards 9 o’clock all cleared off and the sun shone out brightly.
The first race was the Maiden Plate; three horses started
Mr J Higgerson’s Deerfoot
Mr M Shanley’s Beeswax
Mr McMullin’s Whiteeye
This was a good race. All were sent off together by Mr George Barrett. Deerfoot took the lead, and was challenged by Beeswax, who soon decreased the pace leaving Deerfoot to win by two lengths.
The next match was between Roolee and Happy Jack for $100; distance two miles. This race caused great excitement. Betting in favour of Roolee 2 to 1. The course was very heavy, which caused the pace to slow. Both horses got a good start, Roolee getting off the lead, which he maintained all the way, and settling down he lead Happy Jack several lengths past the stand. Increasing his advantage, Roolee had established a lead of fully six lengths when passing the six furlongs post. The running Happy Jack had made told on him at the distance post, and Roolee was left in front, coming quite easy, and wining as he pleased. Mr E Linegar rode Roolee and Mr J O’Farrell Happy Jack. Time 4 min 46 secs
There were also several races for bridles, saddle cloths etc, which came off well.
……..Afterwards, they all retired to the Rose In where large numbers sat down to an excellent supper and luncheon, which I bekieve, justice was done by all. Having satisified the inner man, things were cleared away, and dancing was commenced and kept up till 11o’clock, when the host of the Rose Inn was obliged to close. Too much praise cannot be given to the host and hostess of the Rose In for the orderely manner in which things were carried on. I am sure the host himself (Mr Jas Berrigan) was perfectly satisfied with the success he achieved on the day of the races.

Manaro Mercury, Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, Saturday 3 May 1884
The above races came off on Maonday last, and were a great success. The day was dull and cloudy, the evening being bitterly cold. Not withstanding all obstacles, there was a good attendance; about 300 persons being present, including a great sprinkling oif thye fairer sex, and a number of visitors from Cooma. …….

Manaro Mercury, Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, Saturday 11 April 1885
Magnificent weather favoured the meeting that opened on Easter MOnday, and Adaminaby looked very lively all through the day. There were about 400 persons on the racecourse, including a good sprinkling og ladies. Visitors came from Cooma, Kiandra, Buckley’s Crossing, and other places. ………

Manaro Mercury, Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, Saturday 1 May 1886
As usual the Adaminaby races came off on Easter MOnday, and were in every wat a success. The day was beautifully fine, and the attendance was very good. Between 400-500 people assembled to witness the sport. The course was in good order, and the races were run in good time. …….

Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 5 February 1952

The Adaminaby Jockey Club meeting last weekend could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be called an unqualified success.
Only six horses and one jockey turned up for the meeting
The jockey A Waters arrived in time for the first race, but there were only four horses present at 2pm.
The other two arrived later, and the first race was held at 2.40pm.
The stewards over came the jockey shortage by allowing an amateur rider, Mr V Russell to take mounts.
Mr Russell had two rides during the afternoon, both of which he rode thirty pound overweight.
The stewards created a third jockey by giving F Berkey, a stablehand, a permit to ride for the day.
Berkey was forced to ride overweight also.
In one race he weighed out nine pounds over the limit, but in the last race he weighed out ten pound over the limit – one pound heavier than he had been earlier in the afternoon.
All three jockeys won races, although Mr V Russell was first past the post in the Intermediate Handicap, in which he had a walkover.
Stablehand Berkey upset punters when he won the Adaminaby Handicap on War Gold at even money, beating the 2-1 on favourite ridden by Waters.
There were three races and a walkover decided during the afternoon.
Most punters bet on the Sydney events.