Every little Australian country town has its special stories, ones that have been handed down from generation to generation, discussed in the pub over a few ales and retold to visitors from near and far, and I think our beautiful historic town of Beechworth has one of the best !
When we tell our customers the story of the famous Golden Horseshoes, we are always met with a half cocked smile and one raised eyebrow. "Did this really happen?" they always ask. And the answer is YES!.
In the Beechworth gold rush, a councillor had solid 24 carat gold horseshoes made for his horse. He rode down the street in his finest clothes, on a horse wearing the fanciest, most expensive golden horseshoes ever worn, in the hope he was voted in after that.
As the largest gold and gemstone businesses in the North East, Beechworth Gold decided to keep this tradition alive, and had a local farrier create a pair of solid gold horseshoes to feature in the annual Easter Parade.
When not being worn at the Easter Parade, they are on display at Beechworth Gold and we are always happy to retell the story of the Golden Horseshoes to all of our lovely visitors.
If you would like to see these being fitted and worn at the Beechworth Golden Horseshoe Festival you can find out details and activities on their website.
History of The Golden Horseshoes
In November 1855, Daniel Cameron, upon his election as Member of the Legislative Council representing the Ovens electorate, rode a horse shod with golden horseshoes through the main streets of Beechworth.
It was reported that the miners who supported Cameron were involved in wild celebrations including the consumption of many pannikans of grog.
A Grand Parade, which included "Williams Brown's Circus Bank", 80 man on horseback and many men on foot made its way through Beechworth. Todays festival still features a Grand Parade as one of the major events.
That night, the local Chinese community staged the greatest display of fireworks ever seen in Beechworth, the huge rockets lighting up the entire reserve with the brilliancy of daylight.
The peak performance was the display of several huge and marvellously illuminated fish that floated across the sky with tails and fins flapping,
Can you imagine all this happening in Beechworth ?
The modern Golden Horseshoe Festival had its beginnings in the early 1960's, when the Lions Club was instrumental in organising a series of annual parades between Christmas and New Year until the early 1970's.
In 2001, Beechworth Gold commissioned Robert Bremner, a local farrier to craft a pair of horseshoes from solid gold. They were made in the courtyard of the original Bank and Victoria, and bow the Beechworth Gold store,
These solid gold horseshoes were worn on the horse leading the Golden Horseshoes Festival Parade in 2001, and each year since.
They now have a permanent home on display at Beechworth Gold and The Golden Horseshoes Festival lives on each Easter Saturday.
Come and see the Golden Horseshoes at Beechworth Gold these Easter Holidays and relive the history of the region.