The year 1896 may be remembered internationally as the year of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, but in the Goldfields it is remembered as the year of the first official race meeting.

In the early days of racing in the Goldfields of Western Australia, the action was conducted on a number of tracks scattered throughout the region. Many of the towns that boasted circuits didn’t survive the test of time. The only evidence suggesting that a thriving town once existed in most of those places is a neglected cemetery.

It soon became apparent that the towns of Boulder, Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie (the ‘Big 3’) would become the leading tracks within the region.

The history of such is described in the outstanding publication – “The Round – A history of the first century of racing on the Western Australian Goldfields.”

‘Race Round’

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Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s famous “Racing Round” gets its name from the fact that the ‘Big Three’ would each conduct carnivals at their respective tracks. The order of the meetings would be alternated in order to give each club the best of the weather and attendances.

The first of the three majors to suffer was Coolgardie. The advent of World War One effectively closed their track. Although picnic meetings would be conducted in and around Coolgardie in the following decades, it was not until the Coolgardie Cup was reignited in 1939 that racing returned in earnest.

In 1943 the Coolgardie Club began staging their meetings at the Kalgoorlie track and have been doing so ever since. They still remain a separate and proud club to this day.

The previous year, during World War Two, the beautiful Boulder Course was taken over by the military. This meant that the proud Boulder outfit was forced to race in Kalgoorlie.


The rivalry between the Kalgoorlie and Boulder clubs over the years produced more than the odd difference in opinion. After much deliberation, the two clubs agreed to merge in March 1953.

For a time, former committeemen of both clubs served on the new body, but at the annual meeting in 1954, it was pruned to a committee of twelve, which elected the chairman.

The first chairman of the new club was Reg ‘Brusa’ Wilson. He remained in the position until ill health ended his distinguished involvement in 1971.

History shows that the vision of those responsible for the creation of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club laid a foundation that would make it arguably the best country-racing club in WA.

About KBRC

All of us associated with the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Racing Club feel privileged to be the custodians of thoroughbred racing in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and to have such a wonderful course and a truly unique Racing Museum.


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