Race meetings were conducted in many parts of the Shoalhaven during the 19th and early 20th century.
One of the earliest was Berry in the days the township was known as Broughton Creek, with that racing tradition being revived last year.
One of the first recorded race meetings in that district was on Seven Mile Beach on Boxing Day 1860. Organised from the Kiama end, the main race with prizemoney of 25 sovereigns was for horses owned between the Minnamurra and Crooked Rivers.
In apparent retaliation for that decision, the Shoalhaven Bench refused to allow Kiama publicans to conduct booths on the Shoalhaven side of the Crooked. Kiama was almost deserted by 11am as residents congregated along the straight course for the events, some of which were over one and a half miles.
Two winners on the day, G.K. Waldron's gelding Erin-go-Brah and G. Adams' mare Gay Lass were subsequently involved in a match race the following week on this course.
Later in the 1860s, Broughton Creek had its own course south of the town, referred to as the North Paddock.
Meetings were invariably held on New Year's Day and at least one of the races carried prizes of equipment such as a superior saddle and bridle, whip and spurs.
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Comment was made in 1868 of the fact there had been "no drunkards and no fighting" as was quite common at such events however this was not the case the following year when an additional race-day was held on Easter Monday.
The meeting was brought to a premature end by a fracas involving a large number of racegoers, and 14 of them appeared at the next sitting of Shoalhaven Police Court.
There was one altercation between men on horseback and another between two men who were friends when they were sober, while 11 men after "being charged with an affray, in a war-like manner, to the terror of all Her Majesty's subjects at Broughton Creek" were ordered to keep the peace for six months.
On the track the star had been Mr Kennedy's eight-year-old mare Beeswing which came third in the Prince Alfred Handicap, and then won the Broughton Creek Handicap.
There had been a lighter side to the racing with a donkey race when owners rode each other's beast, and in the end Kennedy won the race on Henry Gregson's donkey.
A decade later the Broughton Creek Turf Club meeting was held on Boxing Day with six races on the card, and the tradition continued with saddle and bridle among the prizes.
One innovative event was the "selling race" with the winning horse to be sold immediately after the race.
The winner was J. Fitzgerald's Gang Forward and the owner promptly bought it back at auction for £25.
Club secretary William Bragg (licensee of the Kangaroo Inn) had the only booth on the course, and he also did the catering.
At a meeting in 1894 jockey F. Polly had a rugged day, falling in two races and was seriously injured in the latter; while James Smith won two events with his horse John Morley.
Clerk of the course, Mr Chamberlain had no problems persuading the crowd of near 400 to keep back from the action - he simply cracked his stockwhip.
The club had ceased to thrive by 1911 when the Racecourse Subdivision of 23 building blocks and three farm blocks was auctioned.
This reduced the course property to 89 acres, and it was offered for sale in early 1913 when the company responsible for the Berry Races tired of losing money.
Information thanks to the Shoalhaven Historical Society.