Compass Cup – Australia’s Only Cow Racing

cow racing

Australians are renowned for having vivid imaginations and being able to make do in any situation. So because we don’t have bulls in the country, the Mt Compass Rural Youth group came up with the brilliant idea of riding cows instead. The Compass Cup was founded in 1974 and has been a raging success of a competition and community event ever since. Today, the Compass Cup is an incredibly popular event that attracts thousands of participants and viewers and is the perfect day out for the whole family. More than just cow racing, the Cup has a whole range of unique and entertaining events including plenty of competitions, rides, stalls and much more, all of which celebrate Australia’s unique rural heritage. With events that allow you to throw cow pats, pull tractors, run over hay bales and of course lets not forget ride a cow, there’ll be an event here for everyone.

Compass Cup Cow Racing

The idea of cow racing first entered the imagination of the Mt Compass Rural Youth Adviser after his cow, Bet, ran full pelt towards the milk shed for milking. His proposal to the rest of the group of starting an annual cow racing tournament in their community was met with great enthusiasm and excitement. 40 years on, the Compass Cup is bigger and more popular than ever and is a staple event in the Mt Compass region, held in January each year.

Cow racing involves four persons per team – a jockey and three urgers (people who help the jockey stay on the cow and who help move the cow forward in the right direction). Trained cows must be hobbled (a device that restricts the movement of the animal) and all entrants must be haltered (fitted with a device of rope or leather straps that lead and secure the animal). Other than that, you are not allowed to kick opponents or cows and of course don’t forget the number one rule: swearing at officials is strictly prohibited.

Wobbly Cow Race

WobblyCowsTwo people must drag their fellow teammate who is riding a drum on uneven wheels that’s painted like a cow. The team (with a rider who has remained on the cow the entire time) over the line first wins.

Dune Fling

Yes this event is exactly what it sounds like – throwing poo to see who can throw it the farthest. Unfortunately for all you oldies, this one is only for the juniors.

Milk Loading

Pairs must transfer milk, which is actually just coloured water, from a tank to a drum that’s on the back of the ute at head height without climbing on to the ute. The team with the most milk in the drum at the end is claimed the winner.

Tractor Pull

Forget the old tug of war tournament between two teams of pullers – this comp is battling out man and machine. With both junior and senior events, teams must test their strength against a tractor to see who can tow it a certain distance in the shortest amount of time.

Rubber Boot Marathonrubber boot marathon

Another old favourite, with a Compass Cup twist is the individual marathon. After finding a pair of rubber boots that fits, racers must roll a hay bale, load a ute with hay, go under over or through whatever obstacles are on offer and then slide down the infamous wet slippery slide at the end.

Fleurieu Milk Skull Off

The Compass Cup doesn’t want to see you beer skulling or your pie eating abilities – they want to discover how quickly you can drink milk. You must also run between milk stations so only the strong-stomached should participate!


BMX Bandits

Adults are taken back to the their childhood in this task when they must ride children’s pushbikes across a series of obstacles.

Engine Blow Up

All visitors at the Compass Cup can participate in this event as all it requires is for you to guess how long a motor will last without oil or water, or if it will even start.

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