Oakbank Racing Club (c1876) is located in South Australia's picturesque Adelaide Hills just 25 minutes from the CBD in "blue grass" racing country. Our historic club races just four times annually with the pinnacle event being the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival, the world's biggest picnic race meeting.
For Terms and Conditions of entry to the Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival click here
Online Memberships are now closed. To purchase memberships please call the club on (08) 83884072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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. The race has always been run on Easter Monday except during World War 2 when the army occupied the course and it was run at Victoria Park and Morphettville.
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.
An unsung hero is jockey Simon Mills, who gained worldwide recognition in 1994 when he was dragged, hung in the stirrups of his horse Sir Sagamore over two jumps in the Great Eastern.
Download a copy of the Oakbank Racing Club Annual Report:
Download a copy of the Oakbank Racing Club 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”