As the thoroughbreds thundered down the dusty racetrack, all eyes were glued on punters hoping to give Birdsville a fashion moment to remember.
Dressed in beer boxes, rubber breasts and even a horse’s skull — the Fashions competition drew hundreds in to the spectator stands at the racetrack almost 1600km west of Brisbane — gawking at the ridiculousness on the field.
While it’s not quite the race that stops the nation — the ‘Melbourne Cup of the Outback’ is the busiest day of the year for the remote town in far western Queensland.
Set on the edge of the Simpson Desert, the event swells the town’s population from 115 to more than 6000 people.
With XXXX flowing from the early hours, the creativity from this years’ event was a stand out.
“It’s always been a bit of an attraction for the Birdsville races,” race club secretary and Fashions on the Field co-ordinator Olivia O’Neill told news.com.au.
“It was fantastic today ... we normally get lots of people dressed up, but this year for creativity the Gladiators, and the lady who won, were great.”
Ms O’Neill, who moved to Birdsville six years ago, said punters usually have a theme when they arrive to the track — and nothing is off limits.
David Dach from Brisbane, who looked more like a Wildling from Game of Thrones than a race goer, said he sourced a horses’ skull for the big day.
“A mate found the it [skull] half buried in a river here [Birdsville],” he told news.com.au.
“He asked if I could use it, and I said ‘I certainly can’.”
“The novelty is a tradition ... and we normally get a lot of people travel from every corner of Australia to take part.
“The winner this year dressed in rubbish bags ... which I thought was unique and creative.
“It really makes for an event to remember.”