Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell has joined with officials from the Ipswich Turf Club and the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce to officially open the Ipswich Racing Museum.
The museum is housed in an old tote building that the Ipswich Turf Club built in 1950 complete with 34 windows which were permanently closed when the building was transformed into a storage room.
The museum now provides a timeline dates back to the 1840’s and contains numerous items of memorabilia gathered by the club and donated by members of the racing fraternity.
Items of interest include a copy of coverage of the first official race meeting in Queensland at the Grange in 1859, the Ipswich Cup of 1866 won by Jibboom, and totalisator equipment from the 1940s.
Memorabilia will also be included on the champion filly Eye Liner from the 1960s, photo finishes from mid-twentieth century, and more modern items such as female involvement in Ipswich Racing including Gai Waterhouse winning the Ipswich Cup, Gillian Heinrich winning the Ipswich Trainer's Premiership, and Tegan Harrison winning the Ipswich Cup after winning dual Ipswich Apprentice Jockey Premierships.
Ipswich Turf Club chairman Wayne Patch said it was important to acknowledge the impact horse racing has had on the community.
“The Museum now provides the community with a timeline of racing in the region, including some of the great names of the industry,” Mr Patch said.
“Horses such as Tulloch and Fitzgrafton; jockeys including Mick Dittman and Noel “Digger” McGrowdie and families including the Krugers have all had an impact on the Ipswich racing industry.
“Not only will the venue showcase Ipswich’s horse racing history, the room will provide the Club with another function space.”
Mr Parnell said he was pleased to take part in opening of the museum honouring the past on the cusp of a new era for racing in Ipswich.
“The Ipswich Turf Club plays a crucial part in the history of racing in this great state and it will continue to play a great part in the future. Racing Queensland announced last year in its Infrastructure Plan that there would be a $13 million redevelopment of this club funded by the Racing Infrastructure Fund and approved by the state government.
“While the course proper will be remediated there will also be a new building for jockeys, stewards, food and beverage facilities and a new function centre with facilities for on course patrons. The major works are due to start soon after the iconic Ipswich Cup.”
Mr Parnell said he would visit the Club regularly to witness the new facilities take shape in a redevelopment that will position the Ipswich Turf Club for future growth.