Joshua Peter Bell
During the 1850s one of Ipswich’s racing fraternity was Joshua Peter Bell who as owner of first class racing stock won a reputation throughout Australia. Mr Bell first entered parliament in 1865. He then became Colonial Treasurer in the Herbert Ministry and President of the Legislative Council a position he held until his death in 1881.
He had been knighted by Queen Victoria. Pride of place was given to him as the owner of the Grange Stud situated at the old Ipswich racecourse which he purchased in June 1874.
It consisted of 216 acres and he purchased the land for 1,350 pounds. The Stud was later purchased by Mr William Kellett who made the site famous by transforming it into a stud establishment known as “The Grange” while Mr Harry Walsh was the trainer there.
1876 – In 1876 the stewards of the Christmas Races decided that no card sharpers or dice men should be allowed to practise on any part of the racecourse. Any gentry of this class, if caught, would be handed to the police.
1879 – When the Ipswich races were held in June 1879 all banks in the area opened at 9am and closed at 10am. The prize was a new saddle and bridle and only farmer’s horses were allowed to be entered.