Celebrating a century of racing at Bedgerabong

Bedgerabong celebrated 100 years of racing in style on Saturday.

Crowds gathered at the picturesque rural race course in beautiful weather, and were treated to a great day out.

The Centenary Cup was won by John Wilson, making a sensational return to racing after 17 years off the circuit with a win aboard the Justin W. Stanley, Narromine trained Wollartant.

The centenary celebrations also saw the return of those with historic connections to the picnic race meeting.

Donal and Alice Mckeowen brought back one of the early Bedgerabong Picnic Race Cups, which has remained in their family since their grandfather, Jack Mckeowen, was awarded it in 1937.

Mckeowen first won the Cup in 1931 with his horse Greenwood Miss, ridden by Matt Dwyer. Greenwood Miss was ridden to a second win in 1932 by Cecil Spence. His third win came in 1937 with his horse Real Clare, ridden by Jack Barton.

It was tradition in those years to allow an owner who won the Cup three times to keep the trophy, and race caller Col Hodges can only recall this happening once at Bedgerabong.

Committee President Nathan Clarke said the Picnic Races was very successful, he would like to thank everyone who supported the event.

I would like to thank everyone who came down on the day to help us celebrate the 100th anniversary of racing at Bedgerabong, he said.

In his Presidents message, Mr Clarke said the 100 years of racing is a result of continuous hours of committee and community members working together.

We would not be where we are today without the hard work and commitment that is shown by the members, he wrote.

Im so proud to be part of a committee that can say they have been racing for 100 years.

The Bedgerabong Picnic Race Club plan to keep the race going well into the future, and Mr Clarke said he hopes to see people back again next year.

I hope everyone had a great day and hope to see them again next year, he said.