Emerald Sunflower Festival

Horse Racing in Emerald, Queensland

The first horses hit the ground in Australia in 1788, it was said that the horses shipped over included one stallion, one colt, three mares and two fillies. Many towns throughout the country shortly after adopted this horse-fanatic culture. It started off with thoroughbred breeding and quickly turned into an age-old horse racing craze that is still in full blossom throughout the country.

Emerald is one of the towns that quickly adopted this popular culture. It’s a small town consisting of roughly around 12,895 people, its situated in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland.

As small as it is Emerald has a few of its own unique attractions other than horse racing events including its cotton farming heritage, as well as the Fairbairn Dam. The dam lies South of the town, and it houses the water of the great Lake Maraboon. When at its full capacity it is said to hold more water than the Sydney Harbour.  Due to the size of this lake is has become a popular attraction for water sports.

Horse Racing History in Queensland

Horses might’ve arrived in Australia in the late 1700’s but official horse racing events only started taking off around the 1830’s. Queensland didn’t hold back for too long and quickly hosted their first horse race. It took place at Coopers Plains in 1843. Shortly after the hype more and more official horse races were scheduled and it didn’t take long for Queensland to be crowned the ‘home of horse racing’ in Australia. This north-eastern state of Australia carries some of the most popular horse racing events on the events calendar and so it’s safe to assume that all the various towns within Queensland, including Emerald, also host their very own horse racing events, as well as have their own racecourses and race clubs.

Horse Racing Events in Emerald

Emerald is spoilt with various horse racing events throughout the year. One of the bigger ones to take note of is the Emerald 100. The event on the day includes a few horse races as well as additional activities to invite larger crowds to attend. The VIP tent is a popular showcase on the day and is always considered a high-end feature. Entrance to the tent is an additional cost at an average of $175.00 per person.

Other well-known horse race events in Emerald include the Twin Hills, Springsure Cup, the Dingo Cup and the Easter Sunday races that take place the same time as the Sunflower Festival.

The Sunflower Festival

Each year Emerald hosts one of their biggest events the Sunflower Festival. It runs over a few days comprising of various fun-filled activities. Easter weekend is generally the time of year that it is scheduled for. Festivities start off with a range of events including window dressing competitions, street parades, beauty contests, and a family fun day at Pioneer Park as well as the Easter Rodeo event. The Easter horse races happen on the Sunday at Pioneer Park with gates opening at 11.00am where spectators can enjoy up to 5 scheduled races on the day.