The Queensland town of Gympie celebrated their place in Lexus Melbourne Cup history today when Gympie State High School virtually hosted the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour as part of their morning assembly today.
Gympie is home to a number of reigning Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare’s 13 owners, including Bob Leitch and Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanksey, who organised the assembly.
As part of the special school event, Anthony and Bob shared their memories from last year’s race and reflected on what it was like to be in the Mounting Yard at Flemington Racecourse when Vow and Declare crossed the line first.
The fairy-tale win made headlines across the globe and saw Vow and Declare become the first Australian horse to win ‘the race that stops a nation™’ since Shocking in 2009.
Video messages from Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chairman Amanda Elliott and reigning Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Craig Williams were also played to the students.
Anthony and Bob shared their hopes for this year, with Vow and Declare having been nominated for this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup where he has been allotted a weight of 57kg.
Anthony said the memory of winning the race last year will be etched in his mind forever and it was wonderful to relive the moment through the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour. “The euphoria, the feeling when he crossed the line and Matt Hill said he’s won it for Australia...there’s that moment of elation right at the start and then there’s the pause after it when you actually go is this real,” he said. “You just stand there for a moment going…this is Australia’s greatest race and we’re a part of it…we’ve won it.
“We’re very lucky to be part of the... virtual tour. Our school’s values are about success, tradition, diversity and resilience and I think that is very easy to tie into the Melbourne Cup.”
Gympie is also one of this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep destinations, which will see 24 rural and regional tour destinations across Australia be allocated a barrier for the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
The town that draws the barrier of the Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning horse will be presented with a cash prize of $50,000 to put towards a charity for a local community initiative.
Since its beginning, the Tour has travelled more than 700,000 kilometres and visited morethan 500 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations. It has provided communities with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Lexus Melbourne Cup and hear the many stories connected with Australia’s greatest horse-race.
For further information about the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour please visit here.