Approaching the end of the First World War the Australian Light Horse were planning a major offensive against the Turkish Empire. In order to lull the enemy into believing nothing unusual was afoot, a race meeting was organised on the eve of the assault.
The main race was called The Jericho Cup over 3 miles through the desert sands. The winner was Bill the Bastard, probably Australia’s Greatest War Horse.
His exploits are detailed in the book Bill the Bastard by noted historian Professor Roland Perry. You can read Chapter 24 “The Ruse” on our web site above. It tells the story of the first Jericho Cup.
The Jericho Cup will be re-run annually from the 100th anniversary in 2018 to honour Bill the Bastard, the Australian Light Horsemen and their magnificent mounts – The Walers 1914 to 1918.
After the disaster of the Gallipoli landing they collectively formed the spearhead of the Allied Forces in the Middle East. They destroyed the centuries old Ottoman Empire and drove the Turks from the Holy Land.
Traditionally we have remembered the disaster and not the ultimate victory. Until now...
Owners and Trainers Qualifying Information
The last race on Jericho Cup day will be the "Goodbye Albany Farewall Australia" benchmark 64 over 1400m.
You can also check out the website anzacalbany.com.au to see why.
A tribute to the light horse.
Around the time Bill Gibbins was putting together The Jericho Cup, Carl Valerius, a self taught sculpter, was putting together a statue of Bill the Bastard. Carl is based in Harden around 140km west of Canberra. You can see his sculptures on his website. billthebastard.org