Round up the family for the Compass Cup

Giddy-up: Spectators are expected to flock to the Compass Cup in droves to watch this unique event where teams of four, including one jockey and three handlers, steer their ride towards the finish line. Photo: Ryan Finlay
Giddy-up: Spectators are expected to flock to the Compass Cup in droves to watch this unique event where teams of four, including one jockey and three handlers, steer their ride towards the finish line. Photo: Ryan Finlay

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Round the family up and head to the Compass Cup on Saturday, January 26 to make the most of the Australia Day long weekend.

Around 4000 people are expected to attend the event which with showcase some of Australia’s beefiest jockeys as they saddle up for the nation’s only cow race.

Held on the Fleurieu Peninsula in Mount Compass, this event isn’t just about the race with Compass Cup president and local dairy farmer Mathew Campbell saying the family-friendly event will also feature farming-inspired events including a milk skull off (his favourite), a rubber boot marathon and the famous wobbly cow race.

But the main attraction is undoubtedly the cow racing, which is a dash – or a waddle – down a 100-metre track marked out on the town’s main sporting field.

Spectators can bid to own a racing cow for the day with teams of four including a jockey and three handlers steadily making their way down the course.

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The untrained cows perhaps get the biggest surprise of all as they are randomly chosen from a local dairy on the morning of the race and returned home after the race.

The Cup is a non-stop day of dairy-themed events from 11am right up to the after-race concert by 7 Biscuits at 6.30pm.

The event will also feature demonstrations such as sheep shearing, cow milking and a ute show and competition, all leading up to the main event - The Compass Cup cow race at 5pm.

There will also be a large range of entertainment for the whole family throughout the day including stalls, children’s rides, mechanical bull rides, human foosball and an animal nursery.

“We are concentrating on making this a family-oriented event and creating informative demonstrations for those not from the farming industry,” Mathew said.

“Since 1974 it has been a day to get young farmers out and about socialising, that’s how I got on it.”

“Over the last few years, we’ve made a conscious decision to try and bridge that country/city divide.”

“The whole day is about making money for the community and having fun.”