Saddle up for the Annual Torbanlea Picnic Races
Past President Brad Rodderick’s association with the Torbanlea Picnic Races goes back to his grandfather, Oscar Ross. Brad believes the races started back in 1890 and 20 years later, the track was railed and registered as the Burrum Recreational Reserve at Torbanlea. There were monthly races with local bookmakers on hand. Howard also had a track. The race club was very financial…that was until the treasurer at the time decided to take himself, and the money back to England. At the time it was believed to be about 3000 pounds a small fortune back in the day. From this moment, the track and racing ceased until the Burrum Lions Club took it on as a project in the early 1980’s and successfully ran the Picnic Races until they also concluded their work several years later. It was at this time that the Burrum Recreational Reserve Committee Association was formed and continued with the Torbanlea Picnic Races and Family Fun Day, both have grown to be major local events. Horses were drawn from the Central Highlands area, Brisbane Valley, Gympie and locally. All money raised is put directly back into the reserve to make a multi purpose sporting venue. The reserve has hosted many different sports over the years such as Soccer, Rugby League, AFL, Tennis, Netball, Little Athletics and Active Riders.
Current president John Charlton said “The committee has been working really hard to prepare for this year’s races. It’s a great local event and a fabulous day out with family and friends. We have a great line up of Thoroughbred Horses, Quarter Horses, and Arabians. Last year’s winner of the 1500m Pure-Bred Arabian Race Jill Colwell will be hoping to take the race again on Goondiwindi Grey (GG). There will be VIP tents that are catered for, Live Entertainment with Frank Benn, plenty of food and a licensed bar all day. Also on offer will be rides for the kids, a footrace, fashions on the field and don’t forget to get a team together for the tug of war. Tickets are on sale at the gate for $10 and kids under 14 are free.”
For most of the clubs that use the fields the Picnic Races is their biggest fund raiser for the year. So come down and support the locals. All money made by the Recreational Reserve committee goes back into the running and maintenance of the complex. We are all local volunteers who just want the kids of the area to have great facilities.
Torbanlea Picnic Races
Saturday 28th October
gates open at 9am
Tickets on sale at the gate,
$10 per person/ kids under 14 are free.
Written by the Burrum Recreation Reserve Association Inc
Photos: Kim Parnell