by Amber Hooker
A FAR cry from Flemington field, the Melbourne Cup has travelled near 2000km from its usual home to Rockhampton.
The Australian cultural icon brings with it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the region's racing enthusiasts who are encouraged to get a grip on the famous trophy.
Today, the Rockhampton Art Gallery hosts the $200,000, 18-carat gold Emerates Melbourne Cup, accompanied by a fashion-filled family fun day.
Racing legend John Marshall joins the tour to share his unique Melbourne Cup winning story, becoming the jockey to ride Rogan Josh to victory in the 1999 Melbourne Cup.
A dedicated display of racewear fashion has been curated especially for the event, and features the "Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast" exhibition; a showcase of some of the most iconic images from the past 100 years of fashion.
It also features a dedicated "Fashions on the Field" themed pop up display.
Rockhampton Regional councillor Rose Swadling welcomed the Australian cultural icon.
"We're excited to welcome the iconic Emirates Melbourne Cup to Rockhampton," she said.
"Fashion and horse racing have always gone hand in hand so it's perfect that the Cup can be part of our Coming into Fashion exhibition at the Rockhampton Art Gallery where we will have a dedicated display of racewear fashion especially for the Cup's visit."
The famous trophy will visit 31 destinations across Australia and New Zealand, starting in West Wyalong in regional NSW, where the gold used by ABC Bullion to make the trophy is mined, before returning to Flemington for "the race that stops a nation" on the first Tuesday in November.
Since its inaugural year, the Tour has travelled more than 494,000km and visited more than 377 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations, providing communities with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Emirates Melbourne Cup firsthand.
Community members are encouraged to upload photos with the Cup to Facebook, using the hashtags #PeoplesCup and #EmiratesMelbourneCup, for the chance to win a trip for two to Flemington for the running of the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour Rockhampton Details: Wednesday September 13
Rockhampton Art Gallery - Anderson Room, 32 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton
- 9.00am-10.00am: Media and VIP Guest Welcome
- 10.30am-11.00am: Guided Tour: Racing highlights from the collection
- 10.30am-11.30am: Year 6 students from Crescent Lagoon State School will visit the Cup
- 11.30am-12.00pm: Talk and tour by the Rockhampton Jockey Club
- 11.30am-2.00pm: Meet and greet Kenny the Clysdale
- 1.30pm-2.30pm: Guided Tour: Racing highlights from the collection