History Of The Club

Kyabram Trotting Club was founded in 1969 when a small group of interested trotting men called a meeting at the Kyabram Club with the prospect of forming a club. The enthusiam shown at the meeting saw the establishment of the club, with Bill Shellie elected president, Brian Meldrum secretary and Ian Purdey treasurer, a position he still holds 47 years later, The club has only had seven presidents, three secretaries and one treasurer since inception showing the stability of the club, which has been recognized by Harness Racing Victoria having won the graduation club of the year on 6 occasions, including a hatrick from 2011-2014, and the last award presented in 2016.
The developement of trotting in Kyabram in 1969 saw the club establish a 3 furlong track which was deliberately built to match Melbourne's then harness racing headquarters, the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. They were humble beginnings, but has led the club to now boast improvements on its seven hectare complex to the tune of assets valued at $1.5 million. 
Kyabram now boasts a 790 metre all weather track, barns with stabbling for 60 horses, and the original 10 box brick stables that were built in 1974 by voluntary labour, for the then hobby trainers who the club were encouraging into the sport of trotting.
The first of the new barns was built in 1981 and the club's first tennant was trainer Ken Day. This barn is today occupied by Graham Lyon. By 1986 the other 4 barns had been built and were fully occupied. In 1991 trainer Jim Schischka who occupied the main barn asked the club to build an adjoining 7 boxes attached to the main barn. The seven hectare site is controlled by the Kyabram Recreation Reserve Trust, and the club currently has 100 members from Kyabram and district with 26 training members. 
Kyabram ran their first race meeting in 1972 and that meeting was the forerunner to put Kyabram on the trotting calender. By the mid 80's Kyabram was conducting four non-TAB meetings a year with four bookmakers operating and the eight race program invariably had full fields.
Since HRV ceased restricted meetings at our track in 2002 we have run two TAB meetings at Shepparton and Echuca, which have proved to be excellent money earners enabling improvements to be made at the club. We now conduct one meeting per year at Shepparton.
In the 80's and 90's the club trialled twice a week, Wednesday and Sunday. But with the obvious extra meetings and trials held these days, we conduct trials every Sunday at 10AM providing an important link for the industry,
The current track was built in 1982 and is impressive with its long straights and well banked turns. The track was built as big as it could be at the time. In fact the club had to purchase a fairway off the golf club, and five metres off the council on the eastern side to enable it to be the 790 metres we have today. 
The building of the track was the brainchild of Bill Shellie, the first president of the club. Bill had many helpers but it was his knowledge that enabled the track to be built at a minimum cost. He dug dams and used the earth to bank the turns enabling the old track to be retained which is still today our much used sand track.  The club in 1986 moved to own its own mobile, construct a sand-roll and wash, swimming pool, and club house. Those were the years that built this club. 20 committee people became guarantors for the works at the time and the $60,000 loan was repaid in two years!
The club, known as "The Training Centre of the North", has consistently housed more than 50 horses on the complex for the last 30 years, and is justifiably proud of the contributuion it makes to trotting at the grass roots level. Fees and rents have been kept to a minimum so as to encourage trotting in Kyabram and surrounding districts.
Kyabram today is very proud of its achievements and with the current enthusism around the club we look forward to many more winners coming off the complex in the coming years.


LIFE MEMBERS

Bill Shellie
Ian Purdey
Gus Underwood
Ken Casley
Karl Mansfield
Alf Cooper
Bill Wealands
Lynne Chambers
Ian Chambers
John Elborough
Paul Dunne
Geoff Bennett
Mick Blackmore
Greg Caldwell
Owen Schischka
Alan Roberts
​Graham Lyon

In 1972 the first ever race meeting held at Kyabram was captured for prosperity by Dr Peter O'Brien.
The footage below gives an idea of the atmosphere at the time..

The First Race!

This footage, captured by Dr Peter O'Brien is of the first race to be held in Kyabram .. EVER!

Man vs Galloper vs Harness

On the day a number of curious events were held, the oddest arguably being a race between a runner, a galloper and a horse under harness. 

They're racing at Ky

This remarkable footage highlights the horses in action around the original track of the day, the atmosphere and amazing crowd response!