Day At The Track

Warragul holds its first ladies day

07:41 AM 14 Aug 2018 NZST
Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print
Victoria Shaw

The significant contribution from women to the sport of trotting will be recognised at the first Ladies Day race meeting staged at Warragul Harness Racing Club on Sunday afternoon, August 26.

Forty years ago the rules were changed in Victoria allowing women to drive in races against men. Although a small number of women had been competitors in races decades earlier before being banned, it wasn't until the early 1970s that women were issued with drivers licences after a lengthy campaign, enabling them to compete in organized Lady Drivers events, usually non-betting affairs staged between races at professional trots meetings.

In April 1978, Boort Trotting Club in Central Victoria conducted the first professional women's race with betting, once the rules were changed to allow open competition.

In August of that year, local horsewoman Debbie Turner (now Debbie Quinlan) drove Ranj Beau to defeat the men for the first time at a meeting at Terang.

Since the floodgates were opened during the late 1970s hundreds of women have achieved great success in trotting, either as drivers, trainers or officials, and have won races across the country, right through to the elite events such as the Miracle Mile and Inter Dominion Championship.

To pay tribute to 40 years of success on the racetrack by women, a special Ladies' Drivers race has also been programmed for the Warragul meeting.

Warragul Harness Racing Club officials have invited Australia's only female race caller, Victoria Shaw, to commentate the event for on and off track viewers.

Guest speaker at a Ladies Day luncheon held in conjunction with the raceday is Dianne McGrath, one of seven Australians short listed as a candidate for the Mars 100 mission, which seeks to establish permanent human settlement on Mars in 2032. The proposed journey to Mars is a one-way trip - so McGrath's story is expected to be a fascinating one. Her sense of adventure, determination and fitness has seen her sail a tall ship in the Southern Ocean, cycle extreme distances, jump from a plane, and run multiple marathons and an ultra-marathon.

Live music and giveaways will also feature around the local race meeting on the day for luncheon guests.

Tickets cost $65 per head and include a two-course meal and reserved indoor seating overlooking the racetrack. From every ticket sold, $10 will be donated to the West Gippsland Healthcare Group.

Ticket bookings can be made by phoning the Warragul Harness Racing Club on (03) 5622 2008.


Kyle Galley

Comment (...) Tweet Share Email Print

Read More News About...

Stallion Name

Next article: