A Day at the Races
A Day at the Races Alasdair Young

Not a day at the races

IT IS quite likely Day At The Races is not the correct name of this Hugh Sawrey painting, but it is quite fitting nonetheless.

Hugh Sawrey painted the piece in 1959 and gifted it to the Dalby and Northern Downs Jockey Club not long after.

For the avid Queensland race goer there is one glaring error with the depicted scene.

The horses are running "the southern way”. Whether in error or artistic license, the painting is indicative of Hugh's style and represents a significant part of Dalby's early history.

In the mid-70s, the Dalby Race Club committee held their meetings under another well known Hugh Sawrey, a rather large stockman scene that hung in the back lounge at Mary Barry's Commercial Hotel.

Seeing the painting many years later Hugh Sawrey thought it needed a bit of touching up. So he took the painting home and reworked the original.

The painting hung at the race track until the mid-80s when it was considered too valuable. The painting was moved to the office of the Town Clerk Dan Phillips (who was also a race club member).

Until recently it hung in the office of the Western Downs Regional Council CEO.

Events co-ordinator for The Dalby and Northern Downs Jockey Club Dixie Schwerin was delight to see the painting again on public display, having never actually seen the painting before the opening of the Dusting Off Those Memories exhibition.

Once the exhibition has ended this Hugh Sawrey will not be hidden away.

At the request of the Dalby and Northern Downs Race Club committee, Gallery 107 @ Dalby will become the painting's new home, where it will be permanently on display.


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