Cunnamulla, ran in the 1882 Melbourne Cup

Cunnamulla, A Glimpse into 1882 Melbourne Cup History

In the annals of Australian horse racing, one name stands out as a reminder of the thrilling history of the Melbourne Cup — Cunnamulla. A four-legged athlete that captured the hearts of many racing enthusiasts, Cunnamulla left an indelible mark on the world of horse racing during a pivotal era in Australia’s sporting history.

This is just one of the one of many reasons the Paroo Shire Council, towns of Cunnamulla, Eulo, Yowah and Wyandra and the passionate locals are throwing so much effort behind the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour celebrating in Cunnamulla as they have a rich and coloured racing history that goes back pre 1882.

The Melbourne Cup: A Cunnamulla Racing Legacy

The Melbourne Cup, often referred to as the “race that stops a nation,(TM)” has been a pinnacle of Australian horse racing since its inception in 1861. Held annually on the first Tuesday of November, this prestigious race gathers the best thoroughbreds from around the country to compete for glory and prestige. In the late 19th century, the Melbourne Cup held a unique place in society, with people from all walks of life converging to witness the spectacle and excitement.

Enter Cunnamulla: A Contender with Promise

One of the notable participants in the Melbourne Cup of the past was the horse Cunnamulla. In the year 1882, Cunnamulla took his place on the starting line, ready to face fierce competition and overcome challenges in the pursuit of victory. Owned by an avid racing enthusiast, Cunnamulla’s appearance in the race drew attention not only due to his racing potential but also due to his breeding and the jockey who guided him.

The following are the 1882 Melbourne Cup Acceptances, including Cunnamulla who ran in the 1882 Melbourne Cup

  1. Darebin, 4 yr, :st y. li.
  2. Lord Burghlely daed, t 121b.
  3. Savanala, aged, Sat :9li.
  4. First Water, 6 yr-, ost 611i.
  5. Cunnamulla, .1 yrs, 8st 2lbi.
  6. Drnummner, 4 yrs, Sst lli.
  7. Pollio, 6 yrs, 7st 1311i.
  8. Segenhoe, 3 yrs, 7st 1211i.
  9. Sensation, 6 yrs, 7st 1111i.
  10. Baronet, ( yrs, 7st 1llli.
  11. Sweet Williams, 4 yvr, 7st 1llsi.
  12. Assyrian, 5 yrs, 7st 1011i.
  13. Navigator, :3 yrs, 7st tlbi.
  14. Gudarz, 4 yrs, 7st 71i.
  15. Santa Claus, 4 yrs, 7st 7111.
  16. Lird Lisgar. 3 yrs, 7st 711i.
  17. Odd Trick, aged, 7st 711t.
  18. Jessie, 3 yrs, 7st 6111.
  19. Stockwell, 4t y?s, 7st 5111i.
  20. Sting, 4 yrs, 7st E51i.
  21. Boolka, 3 yrs, 7st 2111.
  22. Guesswork, 3 yrs, 7st 211i.
  23. Sylvanus, 3 yrs, ist 1311i.
  24. Little Jack, 3 yer, ;sat Slb.
  25. Prometheus, :3 yrs, Gst 71b.
  26. Flying Jib, 4 yrs, 6st Glb.
  27. Mistaken, 3 yrs, fst 1ib.
  28. Anglesey, 3 yrs, 6st 51b.
  29. King of Vale, 3 yrs, Gat ll6.
  30. Standard Bearer, 3 yrs, Gst 41b.
  31. Belmont, 3 yrs, Gst 31b.
  32. Essex, 3 yrs, (iGt ‘lb.
  33. Brunette, 3 yrs, Gst 21b.
  34. Cahlma, 3 yrs, ist 11b.
  35. The Queen, 4 yrs, fst. Ills
  36. Royal Highness, 3 yrs, Gst. Funding for digitisation contributed by State Library Victoria

Cunnamulla’s Background and Breeding

Cunnamulla’s pedigree traced back to esteemed bloodlines, reflecting the careful selection and breeding practices of his time. His lineage included renowned sires and dams, illustrating a rich heritage of speed and stamina. Bred for excellence, Cunnamulla’s ancestry played a crucial role in shaping his racing abilities and potential.

The Jockey and the Owner

Behind every racing champion is a skilled jockey who forms a partnership with the horse, guiding them through the tumultuous course of a race. In the case of Cunnamulla, his destiny was entrusted to a capable jockey whose expertise added to the horse’s performance on the track. The owner of Cunnamulla, a dedicated racing enthusiast, believed in the horse’s abilities and saw the Melbourne Cup as the ultimate stage to showcase his potential.

The Race and the Legacy

The Melbourne Cup of 1882 was a highly anticipated event, drawing crowds from far and wide to witness the grandeur of the competition. As the gates swung open, Cunnamulla, along with a field of contenders, embarked on a thrilling journey around the Flemington racecourse. The race itself was a reflection of the intense competition and excitement that defined horse racing during that era.

Cunnamulla’s journey in the Melbourne Cup might not have culminated in a victory, but his presence added to the tapestry of racing history. His performance and the legacy he left behind remind us of the challenges and triumphs that were part of the early days of Australian horse racing.

Racing in the Late 19th Century

The late 19th century was a pivotal period in Australian horse racing history. It was a time when the sport gained immense popularity, capturing the imagination of the public and transcending societal boundaries. Horse racing wasn’t just a sport; it was a social event that brought people together, creating a sense of camaraderie and excitement. The Melbourne Cup, in particular, became a symbol of national pride and identity, showcasing the prowess of Australian-bred horses on the international stage.

In Conclusion

Cunnamulla’s participation in the Melbourne Cup of 1882 is a reminder of the rich heritage and legacy of Australian horse racing but also the vibrant history of the town and districts substantial racing history. While his victory might have eluded him, his journey symbolises the spirit of competition, dedication, and the enduring allure of the Melbourne Cup. As the years have passed, Cunnamulla’s story remains etched in the history of Australian racing, an integral part of the mosaic that continues to shape the world of horse racing today.

For more information about getting involved in the events during the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour to Cunnamulla Tuesday September 19, 11am

Cellarbrations commence pre the arrival of the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour and trophy with a series of events and activities with the common theme across all being “Celebrating Cunnamulla & District Racing and the Melbourne Cup Through the Ages”.

Competitions include;

  1. Best Dress Shop Window competition
  2. Poster A4 or A3
  3. Best Story
  4. Best 90 sec video
  5. Best Photograph
  6. Best Hanging or Potted Plant
  7. Best Hobby Horse Making/Decorating
  8. Best Dressed
  9. Best Hat

Opening Night: Historical Exhibition“Celebrating Cunnamulla & District Racing and the Melbourne Cup Through the Ages” curated by Merry Higgins and Cunnamulla Fella Visitor Information Centre Staff.

This is a not to be missed event Opening in the Cunnamulla Regional Gallery 6pm Friday September 8, 2023. There is a large collection of equipment, tack, racing memorabilia, records, stories going back of beyond. Some of the stories are just incredible and it has been so exciting going through all of the stuff and talking to old family, friends, locals and contacts. Register your interest for catering purposes please.

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