This Saturday will be the 150th time horse racing has been held in the small town of Deepwater, with a population of 300 on the New England Highway between Glen Innes and Tenterfield.
The town is expecting a ten-fold increase in people on Saturday for the annual Cup meeting. The very first horse racing was held on Boxing Day 1866 after patrons at a local hotel came together to form a committee to run them.
Since 1940 the Deepwater Cup meeting has always been held on the third Saturday in January following the Inverell and Glen Innes Cups, and one week before the Bingara Cup which are in the same region.
Like all country organisations, Deepwater Jockey Club has had long-standing service from local people. The late Jack Lynch was Secretary for 35 years; Forbes Robertson-Cunninghame was President for 20 years and his son Alex would later serve in the position for at least 17 years; and D.P. Macansh and his son Don were at the helm at various times.
A book, 150 years of Deepwater Races compiled by current Secretary Tricia Stack, was released on Wednesday night and will be available for sale this Saturday. The Deepwater Golf Club which adjoins the racecourse will house a collection of historic photos.
Deepwater has become famous for its Fashions in the Field which offers $2,500 in cash and prizes and this year a special section for period dress has been introduced to mark the sesquicentenary.