We’re putting together a timeline to display the Turf Club’s fascinating history! The Club is well over 100 years old, has been the location of many epic events and milestones in Port Hedland’s past, and will continue to be into the future. If you have any memories, photos, or other information to add to the history below, please contact us!
NOTE: The timeline below is as accurate as we can make it, but some details (such as exact dates) have been lost in the mists of time. As we have to list a date for each event on the Timeline, if we weren’t able to find out the exact date for a certain photo or event, we’ve simply put it as August 1st that year (universal horse’s birthday).
2018 Season Details Coming Soon….
The Port Hedland Turf Club would like to advise, this website is currently being updated. We endeavour to bring you all the latest information and updates shortly. In the mean time, don’t forget our first Race Meeting is this Saturday 19th May 2018. Gates and bar open at 12 noon. Hope … (read more →)
2011 – Crossing the Finish Line at the Port Hedland Cup
This thrilling race (sponsored by Cervan Marine) had racegoers on the edge of their seats from start to end. Pentire Point was the winner by a nose, closely followed by Viscount Cameron, with Savage Wolf bringing in third place.
The frame hangs in the PHTC Clubhouse.
Original photographer credit: BDM Photography
1996 – Slim Dusty concert at the Port Hedland Racecourse
As part of Port Hedland’s 100 year centenary, Slim Dusty put on a show at the Racecourse on New Years’ Eve, delighting visitors and locals alike.
Do you have any memories or photos of this event? Please send them in to us on our Facebook page!
Source: Local Residents
1996 – Port Hedland Centenary Special Edition Badge and Race Book
For the 1996 Centenary of Port Hedland, a limited edition gold PHTC membership badge was minted, and the PHTC’s annual race event was named in honour of the occasion with a special gold-printed race book.
Photo and Credit: Ken Reynolds
1996 – Bartolini crossing the finish line
Plucky racehorse “Bartolini” outshone the competition with ease, for the TAB South Hedland Maiden race at the Port Hedland Racecourse (18th May 1996).
Bartolini was ridden by T. Skinner, owned by Arnold and Fran Carter and trained by Peter Oliver.
This frame now hangs in the PHTC Clubhouse.
1978 – Camel Racing at the Port Hedland Turf Club!
Something a bit different! In a departure from the usual equine racing scene, this photo (circa 1978) shows a CAMEL race crossing the finish line at the Port Hedland Turf Club.
One of the camels in this race was ‘SAS’, belonging to the Nisich family. Another camel was ‘Stubby’, belonging to Hedland local hotelier Stu … (read more →)
1977 – the Pilbara Show at the Racecourse
The Port Hedland Racecourse has hosted some awesome events over the years! Pictured: the showbag stall at the Pilbara Show.
“This is my mum Clair Coman (on the left) and my Auntie Freda Devlin (with the glasses) at the Pilbara Show in 1977… We lived on Finucane Island & mum did showbags … (read more →)
1976 – Entry to the Hedland Cup opened to all horses
Previously to 1976, entry to the Cup was restricted to Pilbara district bred horses only, and most horses were bred and raced by local pastoralists. After 1976, the Port Hedland Cup was opened up to the professional leagues, radically changing the face of the local racing scene.
Source: Arnold Carter
1975 – Cyclone Joan
Cyclone Joan passed through Port Hedland in December 1975 and caused widespread destruction, with many buildings damaged and roofs torn off. The horses from the Pony Club stables in Pretty Pool were taken to shelter at the Racing Stables at the Turf Club before the cyclone hit, which turned out … (read more →)
1972 – Cup Day – Families in the grandstands
Check out the grandstands at Cup Day 1972, packed full of local families and visitors showing off the fashions of the 70s!
Pictured: Brenda and Sam Pink (on the right) at the Port Hedland Cup Day races in 1972, and Sam with son Tim Pink (12 years old).
Photo and Credit: Tim … (read more →)
1972 – The Great Deluge and a Helicopter Rescue
A massive rainfall just in time for Cup Day in 1972 left the track so sopping wet that the Cup was nearly called off – an unthinkable act! Club President Jack Haynes and the Port Hedland Port Authority leapt into action to save the day, deploying one of the … (read more →)
1970 or 71 – After the Race
One of the Healey family’s horses “Lite Bronze”, glistening with sweat straight after a race!
Several generations of the Healey family are renowned throughout WA and the Pilbara for their achievements in racing and training.
Pictured: Lite Bronze after a race at the Port Hedland Racecourse, being held by Basil Bennet who … (read more →)
1951 – McGuckin shines again at the Port Hedland Race Week!
Local jockey and trainer A. “Mac” McGuckin was front and centre again at the 1951 races, riding 6 winners himself and also coming home as the leading trainer to boot!
Avergne was ridden to victory in the Port Hedland Cup by Fred Wilson.
Full article below!
Port Hedland Race Week. (1951, August 30). … (read more →)
1949 – Article in the Northern Times: Race Week
Hedland News. (1949, July 21). Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA : 1905 – 1952), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74929209
This week end will be a very gay one for all Hedland folk. It is our annual race week which … (read more →)
1948 – Racegoers at the Port Hedland Cup
Some great pictures from the 1948 Races! Check out the gorgeous 40s fashions on the ladies, and the Stocker boys in their fedoras chatting up the stylish girls from Perth.
AT THE PORT HEDLAND RACES. (1948, September 2).Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 38. Retrieved from … (read more →)
1948 – McGuckin jockey gets thrown into barbed wire!
This year’s Race Week in 1948 sounds like it was an exciting and eventful carnival!
Ozonic Girl won the Port Hedland Cup on Monday the 16th August 1948, ridden by J. Edwards.
The next race after the Cup, the District Handicap, was won by much-revered local jockey Mr McGuckin (affectionately known as Mac) on racehorse Driftwood.
Driftwood was … (read more →)
1935 – Article in The West Australian: Race Ball at Port Hedland
Race Ball at Port Hedland. (1935, September 7). The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 – 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32909831
Race Ball at Port Hedland
THE Annual Race Meeting of the Port Hedland Racing Club last week-end was the signal for numerous social activities. On August 23, a … (read more →)
1934 – Article in the Western Mail: the Race Week Entertainment Committee!
The Port Hedland Race Week Entertainment Committee were kept EXTREMELY busy with Race Week back in the 30s! And what’s this about dancing until 4am?! Read the full article below.
LADY HOBBS ENTERTAINS. (1934, September 6). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 31. … (read more →)
1932 – Port Hedland Golf Course established at the racetrack
Another fun fact: did you know that the our racecourse was also the home of the Port Hedland Golf Club, from the 1930s through to the 1970s? A nine hole golf course, known as the Port Hedland Golf Links, was established next to the aerodrome at the racecourse in 1932 … (read more →)
1923 – Le Cygne won the Port Hedland Handicap
Source: Pt. Hedland Notes. (1923, September 1). Northern Times(Carnarvon, WA : 1905 – 1952), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article75695822
1921 – Airport Established at the Racecourse
Did you know that the Port Hedland Racecourse doubled as the town’s airport for nearly 20 years? A hangar and terminal were built beside the racetrack, which was used as the town’s primary airstrip until 1940.
The original terminal shack still stands today (located between the tennis courts and the track). In later years … (read more →)
1908 – The first “Port Hedland Week”
Racing looks like it was front and centre in the very first “Port Hedland Week”, in 1908!
High Tide at Hedland. (1908, October 4). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 – 1954), p. 3 Section: THIRD SECTION. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57586424
High Tide at Hedland
The secretary of the Port Hedland Race … (read more →)
1907 – Record attendance reported at the 1907 annual race meet!
Our club’s early race meets at the start of the 1900s sound like they were an absolute blast! The following snippets are some excerpts from a Northern Times article, reporting on what people were getting up to at the 1907 annual meeting.
PORT HEDLAND NEWS,. (1907, October 5). Northern Times (Carnarvon, … (read more →)
1907 – Registered as the “Port Hedland Amateur Racing Club”
First launched as the “Port Hedland Racing Club” from 1902 to 1907, the Club was formally registered with the WATC as the “Port Hedland Amateur Racing Club” on the 22nd of July, 1907.
It was officially called the “Port Hedland Amateur Racing Club” (or P.H.A.R.C.) for nearly 70 years, from … (read more →)
1902 – Bluff won the first Port Hedland Handicap
At its inception in 1902, the Port Hedland Handicap had a prize purse of 35 sovereigns, and was won by “Bluff”, owned by Mr A. Wilding, by a margin of 6 lengths.
The Port Hedland Handicap was the feature race of the Port Hedland Annual Race Meet from 1902-1935, and was renamed to the … (read more →)
1902 – Annual Race Meet held on April 23 & 24
The prize money for this meet totalled £137.
A story on this event appeared in the next Pilbarra Goldfield News on Thursday 1 May 1902:
SPORTING. THE TURF. (1902, May 1). The Pilbarra Goldfield News (Marble Bar, WA : 1897 – 1923), p. 3. Retrieved from … (read more →)
1902 – Racing Programme in the Pilbarra Goldfield News
Advertising. (1902, February 27). The Pilbarra Goldfield News (Marble Bar, WA : 1897 – 1923), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146127462
Port Hedland Racing Club
ANNUAL RACE MEETING
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY, APRIL 23 and 24.
- President: The Hon. Walter Kmgsmith
- Vice-President: A. Wilding, Esq.
- Committee and Stewards: Messrs. Thos. Traine, T. Richardson, T. Hardie, J. Heath, D. Broard, T. … (read more →)
1902 – Article in the Pilbarra Goldfield News: Port Hedland Race Club
SPORTING. (1902, February 27). The Pilbarra Goldfield News(Marble Bar, WA : 1897 – 1923), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article146127453
PORT HEDLAND RACE CLUB
The programme of the annual meeting of the Port Hedland Race Club is published in this issue: The principal event is the Port Hedland Handicap of 35 … (read more →)
1901 – Notice of the first Annual Race Meeting!
This is the earliest race meet notice that we can find for the Port Hedland Race Club! It’s from a newspaper in 1901 about the Port Hedland Race Club’s next meeting, which falls in 1902. As far as we know, this was the first race meet they ever held.
NOTES AND CHAT. (1901, November 16). Western … (read more →)
Something a bit different! In a departure from the usual equine racing scene, this photo (circa 1978) shows a CAMEL race crossing the finish line at the Port Hedland Turf Club. One of the camels in this ... (read more →)