There’s a memorial dedicated to Malua outside the Visitor Information Centre in Deloraine. When news of the spring racing season started to filter through our social media channels, we thought it might be time to research the feats of Tasmania’s famous champion racehorse.

Malua - Great Western Tiers Visitor Information Centre, Deloraine
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Malua Memorial, Deloraine (photo by Carol Haberle)

The Pride of Deloraine: Malua

Carol Haberle captured several images of the Malua Memorial bronze statue. She was in Deloraine to visit the Great Western Tiers Visitor Information Centre, primarily to research the Yarns Artwork in Silk exhibition. About that, she wrote…

Located in Deloraine, within the Great Western Tiers Visitor Centre, is an extraordinary experience awaiting you. Yarns Artwork in Silk is a labour of love, a testament to what can be achieved when a community comes together with a passion in common.

Over 300 community members, 200 metres of white silk, and 10,000 hours of hand work over almost three years… the result, four incredibly detailed panels of three dimensional stitch craft which tell not only of the history, but also of life today in the Meander Valley. Each panel also represents one of each of the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.

Malua - Yarns Artwork in Silk
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Deloraine: Yarns Artwork in Silk (photo by Carol Haberle)

Carol also wrote a detailed piece about the Deloraine and Districts Folk Museum

The origins of the Family and Commercial Inn at Deloraine date back to 1856, when a family cottage was originally built for the Johnstone family. The building was later extended and in 1863 opened as the Family and Commercial Inn complete with stables for 8-10 horses, W.T. and James Johnstone were the original licensees.

Malua - Deloraine Folk Museum
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Deloraine and Districts Folk Museum (photo by Carol Haberle)

Between us, we did have plans to also feature Malua in a future Deloraine-based story. When Think Tasmania published the first pair of articles in the series, Carol touched briefly on the legend of the Tasmanian racehorse as well as photographing the monument…

Heritage rural homesteads feature, such as Calstock, where Malua, considered the most versatile Australian thoroughbred racehorse in history was bred by John Field. Malua won over distances ranging from 5 1⁄2 furlongs to 3 1⁄4 miles (1,100 – 5,200 metres, and in 1884 won the Melbourne Cup).

Malua - Deloraine
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Malua: Great Western Tiers VIC (photo by Carol Haberle)

Deloraine Craft Fair and the Melbourne Cup

Other contributors have written about the Deloraine Craft Fair for Think Tasmania, including Roger Findlay (see picture below) and Michelle Kneipp Pegler from Uncover Tasmania Guided Tours. The craft fair, an iconic event on the Tasmanian handmade calendar, will happen again this year from Friday October 31 to Monday November 3. That weekend directly precedes the 2014 Melbourne Cup (Tuesday November 4), so if you happen to be in Deloraine for the epic craft fair, maybe a visit to the Malua memorial would be timely.

Malua - Deloraine Craft Fair
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Bronze statue of Malua (photo by Roger Findlay)

Racing Royalty in Deloraine

Besides the trending spring racing carnivals, we were also inspired to investigate Malua thanks to several images from Dan Fellow’s catalogue. Dan produces Desktop Tasmania, a stunning collection of 2,000+ high resolution digital photos on CD Rom depicting the many wonders of Australia’s island state. Dan regularly travels the length and breadth of Tassie capturing professional tourism photos highlighting all things Tasmanian.

Anyway, we were keen to know more about the achievements of Malua. Rather than rehash what we’ve learned online, we’ll direct you to a couple of helpful resources.

  • The ABC Open website shared a video made by Deloraine locals Julianne McPherson and Neville Sweeny showcasing the pride they have in their own small Tasmanian town.
  • The Race Rate website has a page with incredibly detailed statistics about Malua. We found the page quite an interesting read.
  • Geoff Wood wrote a book called The Mighty Malua and documented the installation of a bronze statue and memorial by the Malua Committee in Deloraine.

We hope you find the information interesting too. Leave a comment below for everyone to see, if you have your own thoughts to share about Tasmania’s racing royalty. And by all means, if you take a great photo of the immortalised Malua… we’d love to see it.

Malua - Racehorse
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Malua, champion racehorse: Deloraine (photo Dan Fellow)

Tasmania Photos is a registered member of Think Tasmania.

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