Horse racing in Penola is an age old past time that seems to grow in popularity as the years go on. As much as Penola is renowned for its wine, it’s also well known for its horse racing culture.
Penola is a small town south east of Adelaide in the south of Australia. The town itself was established in 1850 whilst the Penola Racecourse was established shortly after in 1856, with the first official race held over 3 days in that February.
The Penola Racecourse History
Since before the racecourse was established horse racing was a popular and up-and-coming sport to take part in or at least to bet on. The race events were somewhat informal but with the new Penola Racecourse establishing itself in the 1850’s horse racing soon became a much sought after, high-end social event that made it on everyone’s social calendar.
Horse racing events used to take part in and around the city making the streets the race track. Some buildings from back then that acted as prominent landmarks are still standing and structurally strong, including the Royal Oak Hotel, and the Presbyterian Church.
In the early 1900’s the racecourse moved to a more formal setting when the Penola Club bought 96 acres of lush green for as little as £411 in total.
The Kalangadoo Racing Club joined forces with the Penola Racing Club in 1979 and formed a strong partnership which still stands strong today. The Penola Racecourse is not only home to Kalangadoo and Penola Race Club, but also to the Millicent Racing Club.
The Penola Racecourse Details and Events
The diameter of the Penola Racecourse is 1 835 metres in total; and the course has a straight of only 280 metres. The racecourse is well known for its sharp corner disadvantage at 1 100 metres.
The Penola Racecourse is home to many different horse racing events throughout the year. Some of them include the Millicent Cup, the Coonawarra Vignerons Race Day with the Penola Cup being one of the more popular ones.
The Penola Cup Event
The Penola Cup race is set at 1 700 metres, and usually takes place over Easter Sunday every year. Hundreds of spectators take to the fields and enjoy a high-energised day of the races, as well as additional activities. Families and groups of friends alike, whether they bet on the races or not, take advantage of the Penola Cup event to at least enjoy the outdoorsy activities and inviting atmosphere. Wine experts from the area and food enthusiasts make available a few stalls to add to the vibe and the day’s festivities. There are also a wide variety of kiddie’s activities that children of young ages can enjoy. Additional activities can include face painting, children’s races and they can of course enjoy a visit from the Easter bunny celebrating the religious holiday.
Ticket purchases are available online as well as at the gate. Adult tickets cost $15, whilst concession tickets are at a discount of $10. Children under the age of 18 years have free entry.