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Oakbank

Oakbank Racing Club (c1876) situated at Oakbank in the heart of the picturesque Adelaide Hills, is home to the Easter Racing Carnival, one of the world's largest picnic race meetings. 

The Carnival, is held annually on Easter Saturday and Easter Monday and hosts two of Australia's premier hurdle and steeplechase races - the Harry D. Young Hurdle and the Great Eastern Steeplechase. It also features the Listed Hills Railway Stakes (first held in 1877) and Onkaparinga Cup (1976). The Easter Carnival is complemented with the running of the Von Doussa Steeplechase on the Sunday leading up to Easter Saturday.

The Easter Racing Carnival is famed for the tens of thousands who flock to Oakbank every year for its unique country racing atmosphere - lavish picnics, family entertainment (Including our famous Easter Egg Hunt!) and exhilirating racing - as well as the opportunity to be a part of an iconic South Australian tradition.

The Adelaide Hills is one of Australia's most beautiful and unique food and wine regions, and Oakbank showcases the very best local producers and vineyards, giving visitors the opportunity to sample all that South Australia and the Hills has to offer.

Chairman: Barney Gask
Deputy Chairman: Stephen Charlton
Committee: Mark Angus, Chris Dittmar, John Glatz OAM, Arabella Branson, John Higginson, Trent Shortland, Andrew Watson
CEO: Stephen Whittall

For Terms and Conditions of entry to the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival click here

History

It has been over one hundred and thirty five years since Tormentor won the first Great Eastern Steeple around the undulating hill course back in 1876. 

Some great horses have completed the daunting task of winning two Great Eastern Steeples over the 4950 metre course, including Darkie (1877 and 1878), Trigger (1881 and 1884), Swordfish (1885 and 1887), Vanguard (1912 and 1914), Tramp (1913 and 1915), Mount Cooper (1926 and 1927), Club Spirit (1972 and 1974) and Light Hand (1995 and 1996). Some great riders have tasted victory in the big race including Laurie Meenan, Alex Fullarton, Jamie Evans, Mick Patton, Brian Robert Smith, Pug McKenzie, Bluey Armsden, Don Wraight, Tom Glennon and James Scobie who all etched their names to the Great Eastern honour roll.

Annual Report

Download a copy of the Oakbank Racing Club Annual Report:

Download a copy of the Oakbank Racing Club Constitution:

ORC Constitution

Ode To Oakbank

By Hon Tom McVeigh  Member of Federal Parliament for Darling Downs (Q’Ld) 1972-1988; Federal Minister 1980-1983; Agent - General for Queensland based in London 1988-1991.

Visions of the beauty of nature stir one’s blood and awaken tranquil memories;

Memories of the glory of multi coloured  flowers, trees, and lawns and one with
Pride and joy  recalls the magic of an amphitheatre carved by nature from the earth;

Blossoming from the benefits of the moon, sun, stars and human care;

To which women and men for one hundred and thirty five years have galloped to see;

What history has been able to supervise appears to be like a wink in time;

Because the carnival and festivities at Oakbank last for an eternity;

One is reminded of a sweet flowing river which flows forever and knows where it goes;

“Tis for sure to trace a course as the keeper of the flame of enjoyment’
True to the plans of all who organize this annual event to preserve “A People’s Party”;

Amidst a sight so vividly alive with it’s seamless beauty of scenery;

But above all it is the spirit of it all that envelopes your heart;

As it did to me last year and will do next year and forever;

The friendly ‘Hello”, “How are you Mate” “Join us for a celebration or two”;

Herald the feeling that you are welcome and at Home and they are glad to know you:

To share the banquet of life with each shake of the hand unlike so many places elsewhere the welcoming handshake seems to be with a closed fist it is that cold’

“Tis not so at Oakbank at the Easter Carnival and always;

You can walk the course, sit on the log fence, talk to the horses and humans;

In a landscape tethered to beauty and so may I suggest you attend and be saturated
With the spirit of goodwill which permeates the celebration and spare a thought for me;

Unable to attend but look forward to seeing you all next year;

Please be assured that when the festivities conclude this year on Easter Monday,
You will be like me being carried on a woven carpet of golden memories.

Must be an extra great Carnival if an event outside Queensland is described as ‘uper”

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