In 1917 Australia was able to briefly put aside the grief and trauma of the First World War for the running of the Melbourne Cup. As it did then and continues to do to this day, the race brought the country together—78,000 people attended the 1917 cup, with veterans gaining free admittance. The five-year-old Westcourt, the 'Marvel from Mudgee', led into the straight and was able to hold off the fast finishing Lingle to win by a short half head. It was an extraordinary comeback after Westcourt finished second in the 1915 cup and later broke down. The famous victory was celebrated and commemorated on the property 'Westcourt' on Saturday, when about 130 people gathered to mark the centenary of Westcourt's mighty run. The event was hosted by Malcolm and Margaret Roth, who went to extraordinary lengths to recreate the magic of that win.
At the recent Mudgee Wine Show, the Westcourt Wines Riesling took out the coveted awards for champion wine of the show and also for outstanding white wine of the show. Legend has it that Westcourt acquired his staying power from grazing on riesling grapes on the property.
Malcolm and Margaret's daughter, Wendy Dobbins, was also instrumental in ensuring the day was such an outstanding success. It featured the arrival of a latter-day Westcourt to trumpet fanfare, the arrival of the Melbourne Cup, a superb calling of the 1917 race by Ian McMaster, and a charity auction run by Bruce McGregor which raised over $7,000 for Lions. The Mudgee Race Club did a superb job in helping to organise it, and one of Mudgee's favourite sons, Ken Sutcliffe, did a wonderful job as the MC. Congratulations, Mudgee, on a fantastic event. This House salutes you, and we salute Westcourt as well.