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Port of Yamba Historical Society secretary Anne Dinham with this year’s Melbourne Cup. Image: Lynne Mowbray.

Melbourne Cups tour the Clarence Valley

Lynne Mowbray |

The Clarence Valley played host to two iconic Australian sporting trophies over the weekend, as part of the 17th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

This year the $200,000, 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup is accompanied by the 1919 Melbourne Cup, as the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) celebrates 100 years of the iconic ‘three-handled’ Melbourne Cup Design.

The 1919 Melbourne Cup was won by Artilleryman which was owned by Sir Samuel Hordern. Around 1949 Samuel purchased Yulgilbar Station and the property is now under the ownership of his granddaughter Sarah and her husband Baillieu Myer AC – who are also the custodians of the 1919 Melbourne Cup.

With the historical connection between the 1919 Melbourne Cup and Yulgilbar; as part of the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup’s Tour to the Clarence Valley, the tour attended the Yulgilbar Annual Production Sale, on Friday.

On Saturday the tour travelled to the Yamba Museum for a fundraising luncheon, which gave those attending, the opportunity to have their photo taken with the iconic Melbourne Cup.

Grafton Regional Gallery also hosted a fundraising luncheon event on Sunday, to display the Cups.

During the visit to the Clarence Valley the tour also visited residents at both St Francis Aged Care and Whiddon Group Aged Care, in Grafton.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said that it was exciting to be sharing the century old Cup and the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup with the tight knit community of Grafton, particularly with its strong links to the 1919 Cup hero, Artilleryman.

“This year is the centenary of the three handled (Cup) design,” Mrs Elliott said.

“We’ve had 159 Cups, or will have this year, but only 100 years of that actual design.

“From 1861 – 1919 there was a different trophy every year. So it’s a real milestone for the VRC, which we are celebrating in the area that belongs to Artilleryman.

“In 1919, it was the first time the VRC commissioned a goldsmith to design an iconic shape that would go on in perpetuity.

“We make a new cup every year that goes to the owners, but the shape is always the same; it’s made to a specific design,” she said.

Mrs Elliott said that this visit to the Clarence Valley is part of 39 destinations encompassing six countries.

The Old Kirk was decorated beautifully for the arrival of the two Melbourne Cups on Saturday. Image: Lynne Mowbray