Where Errol reins supreme
By RACHEL SCOLLAY firstname.lastname@example.org
TABULAM race enthusiast Errol O'Driscoll is so well-known, there's even a local saying.
"E.O.D is the man to see."
So when a Queensland historian was researching the death almost 150 years ago of a jockey at Tabulam , she gave him a call.
The jockey was killed when his horse fell on him during the last leap of a steeplechase at Tabulam in 1859.
"That's a year before the Melbourne Cup even started," Errol said.
The horse had been the favourite to win and had also died.
The 22-year-old Queensland jockey was buried at Casino, with the grave erroneously declaring that was where he died.
Errol said Tabulam and the surrounding area had a long history of racing, as it was a big gold mining area.
"They had a race track in Drake and up the Rocky River as well,"he said. "The Chinese (gold-miners) loved a punt."
Times have changed and Tabulam now has the only race track in the area, with busloads coming in from Glen Innes and Tenterfield for the annual race day tomorrow.
"There's families that only meet once a year, and they meet at the Tabulam races," he said.
"It's a real outing. It's a miniature Melbourne Cup day with all sorts of attire and all the gimmicks in the world.
"One year a fellow was wearing a T-shirt which said: E.O.D is NOT the man to see.
"I only heard about it, I didn't see it. But I thought it was a good gimmick."
Today (Friday) Errol will meet with Owen Pedlow, who's the oldest bookmaker in Australia.
"He's giving us $1000 for the Sam Hordern Memorial Handicap. That's the biggest prize of the day.
"He's 88 and he hasn't missed a race day at Tabulam yet."