Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Day the Sheep raced at the Avondale Jockey Club

The author of the Mad Bush Chronicles Blog requested this story during a comments discussion at the end of the James MacKenzie post. Well, here's the tale, from Heart of the Whau (2003):

Everyone thinks only horses race at the Avondale Jockey Club but in 1962 all that changed. You see at 1883 Great North Road behind Arthur H. Nathan Home Appliances (now Westforce Credit Union) George Pilkington, the building owner, used to graze two sheep called Snowy and Dolly.

Well that summer the two sheep decided they liked the look of the vegetable garden over the fence. With considerable determination they both pushed their way under the wire fence and after a lovely time they exited onto Elm Street.

They soon spotted the green grass of the Avondale Race Course and a fine banquet of food. So off they went slowly nibbling down the main straight and were somewhere near the start line. By now it was just after 3'o'clock and unfortunately for Dolly and Snowy some children returning home from school discovered this unusual sight. That's when the first race on the card got under way! It was led by Snowy and Dolly and followed by six excited children. The sheep fleeced the field on the first lap but on the second were caught by the children who knew to where they should be returned.

Snowy and Dolly were led up Elm Street into Great North Road and the front door of Arthur H. Nathan Home Appliances. Snowy was an obedient sheep and went through the shop and out the back door returning to her original pasture. Dolly however was very stubborn and eventually a little force had to be used to encourage her to go through the shop and out the back door. Well the fun of the big day had made Dolly a little loose and she left an unwelcome trail from the front door to the back door. The proud store manager could certainly see a line that separated the white ware from the brown ware of that home appliance shop.

And so ended the day that Snowy and Dolly the sheep raced at the Avondale Jockey Club.

["The Day the Sheep raced at the Avondale Jockey Club", Bruce Pilkington, December 2001 (email to the author)]


  1. That is hilarious!! Going to post it up on the Mad Bush Chronicles blog with a link.

    Thanks Ice!

  2. It is a good'un, all right, eh? Glad you liked it.