The Adaminaby Races 150th Anniversary MeetingShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
The Adaminaby Races is an annual adventure into the high country where sweeping plains, morning mists and high country hospitality combine with an influx of 4000 plus to the barely 250 who live in this famous town that was once somewhere else. And in 2014 the vice-regal imprimatur was firmly applied to this unique event that has 150 years of tales to tell, memories to remind and locals determined to preserve their history.
Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove know how to get among the people - they’ve been doing it for as long as I’ve known them and admired their disarming and genuinely friendly manner - and on this new vice-regal adventure are intent on meeting as many Aussies as they can. As guests of honour at this meeting showing they too can suffer the endearing fact that there is not a leaf, branch, tree or cluster of vegetation to shelter under at the admirable Adaminaby race track, so you have to bring your own shade! Or head for the famous grandstand used for more than a few movies or the quaintly named Meekatharra Verandah to gaze wistfully, a cool ale in hand, across the naked plains to the distant Bolaro Station, and a river.
The day is one to demonstrate your resourcefulness with copious quantities of liquid refreshments trundled in from the carpark, the quick erection of shelter with tents, gazebos and marquees sprouting up and food, lots of food, unwrapped and shared as the bar did a steady trade. The ladies of the town dressed to impress with many in costumes they probably wished could be loosened or stripped off to their pretty underthings that might have been not just more comfortable but more fun and the out of towners came to win the prizes the AJC -that’s the Adaminaby Jockey Club and regional sponsors – had on offer for a mix of judging categories.
Lady Cosgrove and Ann Miners sat stoically in the full sun to judge the best dressed boy, girl and fillies before common sense prevailed and someone brought a large brolly to the judging table as former local Sam Armytage and Cynthia Bryson judged the next sections of Fashionista on the Field, Classic Lady on the Field and Best Lady’s hat. Interesting results!
My involvement was not just to get the photos but to judge best dressed man, couple, single or pair in a themed outfit and best group with Sam Armytage and hopefully a consensus of selections. Being aided by the audience of knowledgeable locals behind me making known their preferences, not so ‘sotto voce’, was all in good fun.
And rather than risk a mutiny from the blow –up hose riding fraternity from the big smoke the sight of Sam Armytage among them for their prize presentation assured it was the right decision for them to win the best group.
I love country hospitality, the quiet, the air and listening to the stories. So armed with a bigger than usual file of photos I’m going to write another story about Adaminaby, to introduce you to the high country where I used to race through all those years ago to take the kids skiing at Selwyn, and now find appeals for a lot of other reasons, and they ski in Japan!
It was a race day to remember that continued to the local pub where the biggest trading day of the year had the publican and staff making the most of this opportunity and everyone was having a good old fashioned country good time. The detritus of that good time waking up with the mooing cows, bleating sheep and the sunshine the next morning from a variety of ‘camping’ spots around the town. Another fine tradition just like the races.