100 Years since the first meeting at East End Park Mount Gambier.

There have been at least four recorded Mount Gambier clubs.

It’s 100 years since one of those clubs conducted its first meeting at East End Park. 

The first club was the Mount Gambier Trotting and Racing Club which first raced on a Wednesday afternoon 9/9/1914. A small crowd of about 200 attended the Gambier West meeting held at H. Purvis’s paddock. This club did not exist too long, due to World War 1.

On 26/3/1924 the next Mount Gambier Trotting Club first conducted a meeting at the East End Park. This club conducted meetings for a brief period. The venue’s proximity was considered too far for the public and may have contributed to why this club was short-lived.

This club formed in March of 1924, conducted its events at East End Park, and was the first to incorporate an inaugural meeting without Thoroughbred participation. There were four races conducted, three Handicaps and a Pony event. The 100th anniversary of that club falls in March this year.

Ironically Mount Gambier will hold a meeting this year on 26th March. Another feature of this meeting will be the final time “MAJOR” the Clerk of the Course faithful horse will be his final meeting he is off to enjoy the remainder of his life in a nice green paddock.

A third club, also called the Mount Gambier Trotting Club, held its first meeting at the Showground track on Australia Day 1937. This club finished the following year.

The fourth, the current Mount Gambier Trotting Club, leaped into a meeting at The Showground on 28/2/1948. A common denominator is that a Shepherd family member has been an official of the club from 1948 to the present day.