Richmond Turf Club History

As adapted from J Forster's "Richmond Racing History" and Carter family.

The district around Richmond has a strong history of racing dating back to the early settlers. On 21st May 1898 in the Government Gazette proclaimed the Richmond Racecourse Reserve was established containing an area of 160 acres. The North Queensland Racing Association was formed in Charters Towers on 28th April 1886. The Richmond Downs Jockey Club was one of the dozen or so clubs that were in attendance for the historic meeting that led to the formation of one of the Principal Clubs of Australia. In 1932 the Richmond Downs Jockey Club collapsed due to the depression. The Clutha Picnic Race Club, also a primary club, picked up the pieces and paid the debt. The Clutha Picnic Club was formed in 1907.

Followed on were the Richmond Licensed Victuallers Race Club using the present racecourse, in 1920 the Richmond Diggers commenced racing, with a break during the WWII. The Diggers used to race on Caulfield Cup Day and always brought in a good crowd. The Diggers Club financed the connection of town water supply to the racecourse. A lot of picnic unregistered racing came to a stop during WWII. 

Clutha Picnic Race Club forged on through the war, except in 1942. Gradually though the grass-fed races were phased out to be replaced by corn fed as professional racing was a taking a firm hold everywhere.

And so into a new era, Richmond Turf Club was established on 8th Dec 1956. The formation of the club was to promote registered race clubs in the west and to form a circuit from Mt Isa to Charters Towers . Many of the Race Clubs at this stage were not registered and were run as Charitable Clubs. The first Race meeting for the Richmond Turf Club were held on two days the 31st May ,1st June 1957. and another on
16th November 1957.

Original committee of Richmond Turf Club formed on 8th December 1956

Patron Mr H Morrice
President Mr WH Carter
Vice Presidents Mr JT Kelman, Mr M Clarence
Committee Messrs  BC Carter, J Harrington; FJ Tritton, NJ Howard, P Morrice, TR Forster, BT Kelman, NT Slack-Smith, J Forster, NHW Forster, BJ O’Neill, JF O’Neill.
Secretary Mr CD Wehlow
Treasurer Mr G Alison

There were two other race clubs racing at Richmond the Clutha Picnic Club and the Diggers Club. These two clubs eventually amalgamated with Richmond Turf Club.

In 1966 the new grandstand was officially opened by Mr A. Sajewski, the first chairman of the TAB.

On the 11th May 1985, the new complex with administration building, separate male and female jockey rooms, stewards, secretary, scale room and toilets was opened by Mr G.V. Roberts, Chairman NQRA.

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