To truly capture the essence of the Australian bush and its colourful social life, you must attend a rural race meet before they become extinct. I grew up in rural Queensland, Australia on the pancake flat plains of the Darling Downs near a town called Dalby. My father and mother were the proud owners of a couple of racehorses, so we were regularly bundled into the car with a overflowing picnic basket and woollen rug to attend the local picnic races. My faded memories include eating egg and lettuce sandwiches, rolling down the spectator hill until I was needled with grass clippings and pretending to be asleep in the car so that my father would carry me to bed.
I still love attending rural race meets, the memories have changed somewhat (rum and coke served in plastic cups, dancing barefoot on the grass with high heels in hand), but enjoyable all the same.
Here are some black and white film images of a rural race meet in Surat in Queensland, Australia. Its not the Ascot Races by any means, but in my mind is twice the fun.
Before the race.
Warming up on a dirt track.
My husband, Steven and me.