Pilbara spirit at Cup
More than 1500 punters entered the gates of the Marble Bar racecourse at the weekend to celebrate the biggest event on the town’s calendar.
The famous Marble Bar Cup, now in its 124th year, has attracted an increasing number of racegoers from all over the State since the first race was held in 1893.
Families and travellers gathered on the grass surrounded by spinifex and red hills as horses kicked up red dirt in a series of races throughout the day. Boys Getaround Him came in first place in the day’s main race, the Newcrest Marble Bar Cup.
To live up to the Pilbara spirit while keeping it PG, the night was capped off with the Marble Bar mixed-breed undie run, which involves a 100m sprint in just underwear along the racetrack.
The tradition has become one of the day’s biggest highlights, after event organisers gave it the go-ahead after a streaking incident several years ago. One group paid tribute to later Hedland helicopter muster pilot Ross McDowell, widely known as Rossy Rotor.
The costumes were a surprise for his wife Chrissie McDowell.
Team member Kelly Bell said the race was done in his honour as a reminder of the character he was, the influence he had on everyone’s lives and the Pilbara, and to make the day extra special for Chrissie.
“Our costume this year was inspired by Chrissie's black-and-white cow print car, and we had mos because Rossy loved his mo and used to twirl the end of it,” she said.
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