The Innamincka Races is an annual weekend of horse racing and gymkhana competition dating back to the time of settlement in the late 1800s.
It is normally run the weekend before the Birdsville Races in late August. A highlight of the Innamincka social calendar, the races are one of the last true ‘picnic’ horse racing meets where the horses are unregistered race horses.
The Innamincka Races is a traditional bush race meeting with on-course bookmakers, full race program, food and bar facilities, fashions on the field, novelty races for the children and adults, music and entertainment. It’s a family friendly environment with competition for kids from as young as four years of age. In fact, the local children who live on the surrounding cattle stations look forward to the weekend just as much as their parents, as it is a time for them to play with the other kids, go camping, and have some fun riding.
The Innamincka race and gymkhana weekend has always been a favourite event for the locals. It is a time to catch up with friends and neighbours, to enjoy watching and having a flutter on the races and to test their riding skills in the gymkhana where the competition is fierce but always friendly.
In 2016, flooding in the Cooper Creek prevented access to the racecourse and so an alternative event was set up. A bush picnic in the heart of Innamincka featured a program of Jack Russell races (featuring the inaugural Dish Lickers Cup), bookmaking facilities, food, drink, fashion in the field, music, and entertainment.