Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival
The Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival is a horse-racing meeting held over two days by the Oakbank Racing Club at the Oakbank Racecourse located in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. The carnival is a mixture of flat and jumping races with between two and four jumps races on day one and two feature jumping races on day two.
Day one is held on Easter Saturday and is one of the highest attended race days in Australia. The Von Doussa Steeplechase takes place on day one and is a preliminary to the Great Eastern Steeplechase held on Easter Monday. A "classic" hurdle race takes place on Monday as does the feature flat race, the Onkaparinga Cup.
The meeting is conducted by the Oakbank Racing Club and is popular with families and groups. Although ostensibly a horse race meeting, Oakbank is an event in itself with carnival rides, picnics and other activities. Many families camp for the whole weekend in the paddocks adjacent to the track, and some have done so all their lives.
Patrons travelled by train from Adelaide to nearby Balhannah station [2 miles from the course] from 1884. When the branch to Mount Pleasant opened in 1918, a special platform was constructed adjacent to the course, permitting special race trains to run direct to the course the following Easter. The line to Mount Pleasant closed on 3 March, 1963, thus the race trains ran no more.
A notable horse to have raced at Oakbank was Zama Lad, who won the Harry D Young Hurdle four years straight in the 1980s.
Barnes, Jenny. "Heroes and Warriors - Yalumba Classic Hurdle". Virtual FormGuide. http://www.cyberhorse.com.au/tvf/barnes/0326yalumbaclassic2.shtml. Retrieved 2008-05-01.