The annual Sam Hordern race day at Tabulam is one of the biggest events on the town’s social calendar.
The annual Sam Hordern race day at Tabulam is one of the biggest events on the town’s social calendar. David Nielsen

Tabulam's popular race meet

FROM a donation of just $500 in 1966, the annual Sam Hordern Memorial Cup has become one of the biggest days on Tabulam's social calendar.

Sam Hordern, described as a "devoted man of the land", donated the money which, at that time, was considered to be quite generous.

The Cup continues thanks to the generosity of his daughter, Sara, and her husband, Bails Myer.

It will be run for the 45th time tomorrow.

Sam Hordern had a long and strong association with the Tabulam area and with horse racing.

In 1949 he bought a controlling interest in Yulgilbar Station on the Clarence River, and that property is still owned by the family.

He joined the Australian Jockey Club in 1950 and became vice president.

At the time, the club was in charge of all thoroughbred racing in NSW.

In 1953 Mr Hordern joined with King Ranch in Texas, USA, and imported Santa Gertrudis cattle and American quarter horses to Australia.

The following year he joined the Royal Agriculture Society and was president until his death in 1960.

His father, Samuel Hordern, had been president of the society for 32 years.

The elder Sam Hordern was renowned for racing top "bush gallopers" - Air Travel was unbeaten in 32 starts and Santa Royal won 25 out of 27 races.

As well as the 45th anniversary of the Sam Hordern Memorial Cup, this year the Tabulam racetrack celebrates 115 years as a dedicated racecourse.

The Tabulam race day - held on the Saturday after Melbourne Cup - is a hugely popular annual event which brings the small rural village to life.

Put on your racing outfit and head to Tabulam for a fun day and prizes for best dressed.

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