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Melbourne Cup Trophy Milestones

How has the trophy changed throughout the years?

1861

A trophy was not awarded. Archer’s owner received a hand-beaten gold watch.

1865

The first year a trophy was awarded. Manufactured in England, it was an elaborate silver bowl on a stand with a narrow neck reinforced with two ornate handles and topped with a horse and rider.

1867

A silver trophy from England displays Alexander the Great taming the horse, the engraved name of the winning horse, and a figure of a winged female.

1876

The first gold cup trophy manufactured in Victoria was created in an Etruscan shape with two handles. One side depicted a horse race with the grandstand and hill of Flemington in the background. The opposite side, inscribed on a crimson enamelled garter, featured the words “Melbourne Cup 1876” and the name of the winning horse.

1888

Three silver horses on a silver plated base.

1889

Controversy surrounded the silver “tea and coffee service” reputed to have been unacceptable as a trophy.

1891

A two feet long, 15 inch high draped figure of Victory, standing on a pedestal, holding out an olive wreath to a jockey upon his horse.

From 1894 to 1898

Trophies were not awarded as the economic depression engulfed the nation, however, the Melbourne Cup continued to run at Flemington.

1908

A three foot long plaque of an embossed silver galloping horse, that some people thought resembled a greyhound.

1909

A silver centrepiece was awarded as a trophy.

1914

This was the last year the Melbourne Cup trophy was made in England. It had a long base with a horse on each end facing out and a chalice cup in the centre.

1915

A large rose bowl trophy that was made in Australia.

1919

The current trophy design was awarded for the first time.

1930

The year that the great Phar Lap claimed Melbourne Cup victory. Between 1930 and 2010 the size of the Cup was reduced, which started as a result of the Great Depression impacting the Club’s budget.

1980

From 1980 to 2015, the VRC commissioned Hardy Brothers Jewellers to craft the Melbourne Cup.

2009

The 2009 Melbourne Cup trophy is valued at $125,000 and weighs 2.97kgs.

2010

The trophy returns to its design zenith - the Cup won by the legendary Phar Lap. The Cup is now valued at $150,000 and weighs almost 4kg.

2011

The Melbourne Cup trophy is now valued at a record $175,000, due to the rising price of gold. The Cup is given a permanent home at the Flemington Heritage Centre, a year-round tourist attraction.

2016

ABC Bullion is selected to manufacture the Melbourne Cup. The trophy’s 44 pieces are hand-welded and it takes 250 hours to produce. The timber base of the Melbourne Cup is hand-turned from Australian jarrah and is the traditional base for every Melbourne Cup.

2017

The Melbourne Cup trophy increases in value to a record $200,000