27 March, 2020
Birdsville Races In Jeopardy
NEARLY 700 kilometres south-west of Longreach stands the iconic country town of Birdsville, host to one of the most globally recognised race meets — the Birdsville Races.
Since the inaugural race in 1882, the Birdsville Races has remained a staple in Outback Queensland, bringing both national and domestic travellers into the country town to experience the atmosphere, dirt and racing Birdsville has to offer — with proceeds from the event going to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
This year’s race meet may be in jeopardy, however,as ticket sales for the event, scheduled to go on sale on Thursday, April 2, have been indefinitely postponed due to growing concerns surrounding the global pandemic COVID-19.
Medical concerns surrounding the Birdsville Races have not risen since 2007 when the horse racing had to be cancelled for the first time in the event’s 125 year history due to the Influenza A virus (horse-flu). The event however still proceeded.
Described as “an event unlike any other”, the Birdsville Races are scheduled to be held from September 2 to 8, featuring a multitude of attractions including fashions on the field, Fred Brophy’s boxing troupe, and the headline event – the iconic Birdsville Cup on the Saturday afternoon.
The Birdsville Races committee remains hopeful that the famous event will continue as planned. However the committee will continue to take advice from the government and Queensland Health authorities over the coming months
Organisers are adamant their number one priority is to maintain the safety and health of patrons who are passionate supporters of the event, as well as the Birdsville community and outback townships on the routes to Birdsville.