Casterton Racecourse Overview
The Casterton Cup is a historic 2,000 metre horse racing event that is held each year at the Casterton Racecourse in the town of Casterton, which lies in the Shire of Glenelg, Victoria. The Casterton Racecourse is situated on Racecourse Float Road, just 40 kilometres from the borders of Victoria and South Australia.
The Casterton Racecourse hosts 4 race meetings throughout the year, including the Spring meeting in September, the Heywood Cup, which is run over 1,800 metres in July and the Casterton Cup, which takes place annually on a Sunday during either May or June.
The History of the Casterton Cup
The fields at Casterton Racecourse have been limited to 14 runners per race for all distances, and the track hosts one of Australia’s largest live hedge steeplechase races which takes place on a separate adjacent racing track within the course. The track has a total circumference of 1,640 metres, which is situated just beside the local Glenelg River.
The first organised horse races in Casterton were recorded as far back as 1855. The Casterton Cup itself was instituted during the Casterton Racing Club’s Autumn Meeting in the year 1882, and the race has been hosted annually at the same venue ever since, with the exception of the war years. The Casterton Racecourse hosted its first open hurdle horse race in February of 1861, which was run over a total of 1,5 miles. The track’s first steeple race took place just a year later in May of 1862, which was run over 4 miles and was aptly named the Great Western Steeplechase.
More recently in 2015, jockey Chelsea Hall with horse Stable Star took the position of first place at the most recent Casterton Cup race.
The History of Casterton
The area of Casterton was first inhabited by Aboriginal people belonging to the Konongwootong Gundidj clan. The first European explorers to discover the area were led by Major Thomas Mitchell in the year 1836, who named the area Australia Felix due to its fertile farming land. The first Europeans to settle the area were the Henty brothers, who took ownership of more than 28,000 hectares of land in the region.
Soon afterwards in the 1840’s, a pub and post office were established in what is now the town of Casterton on the Glenelg River, and a train station soon followed. Today, the region is more well-known for its meat and dairy farming, and Casterton itself is home to a modest population of 2000 residents.
The 2016 Casterton Cup Event
In 2016, the Casterton Cup will take place on Sunday the 22nd of May. The race meeting will consist of 8 races in total, including 2 hurdle races, a steeplechase race and the feature Casterton Foodworks Cup race. Children’s’ activities will include face painting and more, and the 1992 Melbourne Cup winning horse Subzero will be brought for children and family to see.
Local entertainers are set to provide music and commentary on the day, and a traditional Fashions on the Field competition will be held concurrently with the races, offering up to $5,000 in prizes for the best-dressed spectators. A shuttle service will also be available.