History

The Strathalbyn Harness Racing Club was formed in 1938 after purchasing a block of 18 acres on Milne Rd. The secretary Mr. A.L.Grubb advised that the S.A.Trotting League approved the new license on the 24th August 1938 and the Inaugural meeting was held on the 4th October 1938 with total stake money of 150 pounds. Local wood merchant Frank Thring was the first president. The committee picked out the best and straightest wood to make into running rails.

The club ceased to race in March 1938 and was closed until 1945 due to the war. Over the years the club has been actively involved in the community, supplying and ambulance and assisting in costs to the Strathalbyn Hospital as well as assisting many local organizations in need of help.

 

For many years the horses were floated by train from Adelaide and disembarked at the Strathalbyn train station.  Then walked to the track only a short distance away. In the early 70’s the Southern Greyhound Raceway took on a long term lease and are still racing today giving multi use of the complex.

 

The track was rebuilt in 1979 and was built by world renown track designer Mr. Bede Ireland. The 3 furlong saucer was replaced by a half mile purpose built track with transitional turns and is still in operation today. Over the decades some of Australia’s best horses have raced at the pace-way including Minuteman and the legendary Gramel.

 

With a new barn complex just completed in 2012 at a cost of a $1/4m and strategic business plans in place to carry the club well into the future, the next chapter to be written will be just as interesting.