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The South Australia town of Hawker is located in the Flinders Ranges area of the state some 230 miles north of Adelaide. It got its name from G C Hawker who was a prominent member of the State parliament in the late 1850s through to the 1880s. Although it has a population of under 400 it has its own well-supported country racecourse, a dusty brown track in the outback whose principal race is the Hawker Cup which is usually contested at the end of May.

Local Patrons Hawker Jockey Club, Hawker Racing Club
Principal Races Hawker Cup, Hawker Handicap

The Hawker Jockey Club was founded in 1882 and ran particularly attractive cards in the 1890s. Selected results from the July 1893 meeting are shown below.
Hawker Trial Stakes over 1 mile
1. Aberdeen 4/6 fav owned by Mr W A Renwick and ridden by Crawford
2. Silence 2/1 owned by Mr T Ryan and ridden by Scott
3. Masher 5/1 owned by Mr K Nunn and ridden by Nunn
Hawker Handicap Hurdle over 1 mile
1. Actress 2/1 fav owned by Mr A D McDonald and ridden by Gilles
2. Battleaxe 5/1 owned by Mr J C Lyall and ridden by Lyall
3. Sky Pilot 4/1 owned by Mr C Williams and ridden by Dodgson
Hawker Handicap over 1 mile
1. Tonga 10/1 owned by Mr A D McDonald and ridden by Gilles
2. Precipice Evens fav owned by Mr H Simm and ridden by Bennett
3. Egyptian 10/1 owned by Mr W Darmody and ridden by White

The Hawker Jockey Club continued to administer races until the late 1920s, although a Picnic Meeting was held on 14th March 1929 where the programme consisted of the Timber Yard Novices Race over 4 furlongs, the Willippa Handicap over 1 mile, the Royal Flying Handicap over 6 furlongs and the Cultana Stakes over 5 furlongs. After this meeting races lapsed for 24 years, but were revived by the Hawker RSL Racing Club on Saturday 20th June 1953. This period lasted for 9 years until the Hawker Racing Club took over the races in 1962. Today the meeting is stronger than ever, with the principal race, the Hawker Cup over 1750 metres being worth $12,000. Unfortunately it was postponed in 2017.

Course today The racecourse continues to be run successfully, reaching a climax in late May with the running of the Hawker Cup.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email johnwslusar@gmail.com

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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