Photos from the Birdsville Races

Photos from the Birdsville Races

Photos
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All the colour and fun from the “Melbourne Cup of the Outback”

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Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove expressed it best.

There were two types of Australians on Saturday, the 6500 people at the Birdsville Races, and the 24 million who weren’t.

The Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove were in the latter category, his RAF jet landing at Birdsville airport at 11am Saturday where they was greeted by Diamantina Mayor Geoff Morton and given a tour of the town before heading to the races.

Sir Peter pressed the flesh with all and sundry while Lady Cosgrove handed out the prizes in the prestigious fashions on the field.

Where were certainly some fantastic fashions on display which fashions MC Olivia O’Neill said was a tribute to the hard work of entrants who had to get ready in caravans and tents spread across the normally tiny township.

Many were dressed up in less fashionable attire, with Arabian sheiks, priests and nuns, angels and devils and a disturbingly large number of cross-dressers as visitors came from all parts of Australia and beyond for what is becoming a big bucket list item for many.

Among those present on the Friday was Senator Pauline Hanson.

"This is one of the biggest events on the race calendar and people come from across the country to have a great long weekend," Senator Hanson said.

"The Birdsville Races is one of those bucket list places to see. You'll have people drive out in their 4x4's to their private jets, but the one thing everyone has in common is they all sleep in a tent - me included".

Senator Hanson raised a big cheer on the Thursday night when she offered her services to be “ring girl” for Fred Brophy's boxing tent.

Birdsville Race Club president David Brook has been involved since the 1970s, a family commitment that started in the 1880s.

The Brook name is synonymous with rural Australia and David is a co-founder and chairman of OBE Organic, the world's biggest organic beef producer.

Their properties span almost 3.5 million hectares but it is a patch in Birdsville, including the iconic Birdsville Hotel, the cattle-farming family cherishes most.

"It's the only place everyone wants to buy you a beer," David's son and club vice-president Gary says.

"People in Sydney and Melbourne don't turn around to you at the bar and say 'where are you from? Can I buy you a beer?'"

The North West Star

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