Area News poetry corner: ‘Carrathool Horse Races’ by Stuart Clarke

Carrathool Horse Races

The town of Carrathool stirs and comes alive

In early February every year since 1883

The local work hard to get everything ready

Because the Bough Shed Races is the place to be. 

The population swells from 99 to many-thousand head

Many come by bus, dressed from thongs to a feather in their hat

Under the river gum boughs the bar is really packed

This is the horse races that everyone must be at.

The sun can be hot and something it has rained

Jillaroo sprint and Jackaroo dash and fashions of the field

The cup is off, through the dust your eyes are strained.

Allen Wallet calls the race, the places confirmed

Some tear up their tickets, others queue to get paid

The Uardry Cup is presented to all the winning connections

The cup goes far away, another successful raid.

After the last race the live entertainment starts

Some head off home, but many camp and stay the night

Next morning bacon and eggs for breakfast

To make sure everyone can drive home alright.

So if you have an adventurous spirit

Put the Bough Shed Races in your plan of things to do

Come and enjoy yourself, but remember the locals

Who have worked very hard to put everything on for you.




Stuart Clarke shares his poems from his recent release From the Bidgee to the Lachlan through his weekly contribution to The Area News.

The Griffith farmer-turned-poet’s book of poems celebrates life in Griffith, Goolgowi, Carrathool, Rankin Springs and various locations across rural NSW. 

The book pays tribute to the “multicultural food bowl of Australia” of Griffith in a moving eight verse poem the chronicles the 100 year history of the town.

Stuart’s aim is to preserve local history through poetry, and his book is available for purchase at the Griffith Tourist Information Centre and Hillston Tourist Information Centre. 


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