Darren England/AAP ( TheGuardian.com)
For one weekend each year, Birdsville’s normal population of 115 people swells to a crowd of more than 6,000 when its annual horse race comes to town. Birdsville is situated on the edge of the Simpson Desert, 1,590km from Brisbane but that distance doesn’t deter the horse racing fans and fun seekers who descend on the town for the famous two-day event.
The following pictures show some of the races, the winning jockey holding the Birdsville Cup, the festive crowd enjoying themselves, the dressed-up-as-a-beer-race and the focal point after the races, the Birdsville Hotel.
It had been 950 days since the Todd Austin-trained French Hussler had won the 2019 version of the iconic desert feature, the last time the race had been run due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
So understandably the return of the Birdsville Cup this year in April meant a lot to many people.
Just as he did in 2019, Austin put the polish on the winner Echo Point.
It was the Barcaldine trainer’s third Birdsville Cup victory after also winning the 2013 edition with Primed.
Starting at one of the shortest quotes in the history of the race, the $1.18 favourite was given an absolute peach of a ride by Brooke Richardson.