The Jimmy Tarpot Cup was a highlight of the 2018 Apsley Racing Club Cup meeting at the Edenhope Racecourse in June. The Jimmy Tarpot Cup is a 100-yard backward race and it was held between races at the Apsley Cup on Sunday June 10th.
The Jimmy Tarpot Cup was introduced at the meeting in 2016 as part of the 150th celebrations of the Aboriginal Cricket Team match against the Melbourne Cricket Club on Boxing Day in 1866. Jimmy Tarpot was a member of the Aboriginal Cricket Team in that match and he is also famous for running 100-yards backwards in 14 seconds as part of the sporting day held on the MCG on December 28, 1866.
The field for the 2018 Jimmy Tarpot Cup included two Bendigo Gift winners, one of whom was also a runner-up in the famous Stawell Gift as well as another athlete who had made two Stawell Gift Finals. Or course running backwards is a different discipline as the six finalists found out while racing down the main straight of the Edenhope racecourse.
The event is supported by the West Wimmera Shire and Aspley Racing Club. In 2016 the Mullagh Wills Foundation ‘Journey to the MCG’ commenced in the West Wimmera and the Message Book was hosted by the West Wimmera Shire and the Apsley Racing Club during the year.
Such was the interest in the event, Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne, who rode a horse she also trained during the meeting, had her photo taken with the Jimmy Tarpot Cup finalists as they prepared for the big race.
Dual Stawell Gift finalist, Kevin Brittain was the winner of the 2018 Jimmy Tarpot Cup, he finished ahead of Robbie Spencer, Tom Griffin, Close, David Griffin and Tim Mason in bright sunshine in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. Kevin was crowned the Jimmy Tarpot 100-yards Australian Backwards Champion by the Mayor of West Wimmera.
Jimmy Tarpot worked on Bringalbert Station outside of Apsley and was a member of the Aboriginal Cricket Team that was invited to play the Melbourne Cricket Club on the MCG on Boxing Day in 1866. On December 28, 1866 the Aboriginal Cricket team conducted a sports day at the MCG and Jimmy Tarpot thrilled the thousands of people in attendance with the unusual feat of running 100 yards backwards in 14 seconds.
Jimmy (born Murrumgunerrimin) missed the Aboriginal Cricket Team’s famous tour of England in 1868 due to illness. He and his wife Jenny returned to Apsley and he became a highly respected wool classer in the district. Jimmy Tarpot is buried at the Apsley cemetery.