GRIFFITH JOCKEY CLUB HISTORY

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on the 29th of January 1923, that, "the Griffith Race Club Summer meeting was held yesterday in fine weather, and there was a large attendance." There were seven races set down for the programme, with the highlight being the win of J. Perry’s Ziralee in the seven furlongs Griffith Purse at odds of even money.

 

Dalton Park Racecourse is located about 3 kilometres north of the centre of town. The Griffith Race Club moved to the Dalton Park Racecourse during the later 1940’s. After several years of falling membership and then the very wet year of 1956 the Griffith Race Club went into recess for a number of years.

 

In 1963 a meeting was held in the town and the Griffith Jockey Club was formed to again provide a venue for thoroughbred racing in Griffith. The President of the newly formed club was Dr William Dalton. The Vice Presidents were Mr Michael Cudmore and Mr J Ryan. The Secretary was Mr K Wynne and the Treasurer was Mr J Young.

 

In his annual report at the 1964 AGM, Dr Dalton said “the last year had been a hard grind, but the committee could be proud of the fact that the course was beginning to look like a racecourse again. He said the track had been completely graded and formed and a new running rail of dressed timber was completed last week.”

 

The inaugural meeting of the Griffith Jockey Club was held on December 12 1964 when a crowd of about 2,000 people enjoyed a six race program.

 

The club ran successfully for many years before falling into recess again in 2004.

A town meeting was held in May of 2009 and a new committee was formed. The new President was Mr Daryl Worley with Renee McDonald as Secretary and Bernie Connolly Treasurer. The committee of ten organised the Griffith Cup of 2009 to be run at Narrandera Racecourse as the Dalton Park track was again bare dirt.

 

After a successful meeting in Narrandera, the group got to work to grade and sow the track over the summer months. Many working bees to bring the facilities up to ‘race day’ standard were held and the first race day at Dalton Park was held in September of 2010. A great crowd of 2,500 people enjoyed a six race program with the [yellow tail] Griffith Cup being the feature race. Fashions on the Field and entertainment for the children also ensured it was a day for all the family.

 

The committee, now led by Judy Kroek, granddaughter of both Dr William Dalton and Mr Michael Cudmore were very proud and relieved that the day went off without a hitch.

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