THE 109th Annual Race Meeting of the Oak Park Race Club was held in July at the Oak Park Race Track which is situated on the banks of the Copperfield River up from the historic Oak Park Station.
More than 1000 patrons attended the Race Track to experience professional racing at its best. This year the Club offered $136, 100 in prize money plus bonuses.
The feature race on Friday, The Tuff n Up Camp Ladies Bracelet, was won by Canhedance, trained by Janel Ryan from Atherton and ridden by her husband Ron Ryan. Canhedance carried 61kg, however this weight did not hinder his performance and he came away with the money much to the delight of all connections. Ron’s family has had a long association with the Club dating back to the grass-fed days when horses were paddocked for a month and then trained for 10 days before racing. Ron’s father was an amateur jockey back in the days prior to paddocking when horses were walked to Oak Park from many stations in the district, some from as far as 100 miles away. Stockmen on horseback tailed and watched the horses during the day to make sure they were settled and drinking and not galloping around the paddock.
The race that everyone comes to Oak Park to win is the Lyndhurst Shield which is run over 1600m. The Roy Chillemi trained Divine Luck took out this prestigious race which offered $10725 to the winner. Wanderson d’Avila rode the horse to victory. Roy has now trained the winner of the Lyndhurst Shield for two consecutive years.
Leading Trainer of the Meeting was Olivia Cairns from Townsville and Leading Jockey Joshua King from Thangool, both taking away $1000 cash each.
Fashions on the Field was hotly contested both days, Country Casual on Friday while on Saturday the Club supported the Leukaemia Foundation’s Shave for a Cure, with most patrons dressing in orange to show their support. A total of $6549 was raised for Leukaemia Foundation.
As usual the Ball on Thursday night was a magical night with many ladies and gentlemen dressing up to dance the night away and win some lovely prizes on offer.
The OPRC looks forward to celebrating their 110th Annual Race meeting in 2014.
Photos by Hayley Eggleton.