"Gympie's Melbourne Cup": Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanskey celebrates the victory of Vow and Declare at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday.

Who decided Gympie High kids couldn’t watch the Cup?

THE strong Gympie connections to the Melbourne Cup win have captured the imagination of the nation for a number of reasons, but mostly I think because this is a classic Australian story.

Couple of regular blokes who teach at the local high school - one of them is the principal the other is the deputy mayor - buy a horse nobody else wants and the horse somehow goes on to win the biggest race in the nation against a massive line-up of international superstars.

Does it get any better than that?

Yes it does.

Lachlan Lanskey (left) and is father, Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanskey, with Vow and Declare after with Vow and Declare just before the Caulfield Cup, in which he ran second.
Lachlan Lanskey (left) and is father, Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanskey, with Vow and Declare after with Vow and Declare just before the Caulfield Cup, in which he ran second.

The gusty winds that helped whip up those fires at Upper Kandanga and Teewah on Tuesday are probably also responsible for bringing down power lines in the Valley and turning off the lights and power at the Kandanga Pub, where a big crowd had turned up to watch the Cup.

In classic country style, punters didn’t riot. They just watched the local horse win the Cup on their phones, just like the Telstra ad.

"Gympie's Melbourne Cup": School teachers Bob Leitch and Anthony Lanskey, who are part-owners of Melbourne Cup winning horse Vow and Declare flew the flag for Gympie live on national breakfast television show ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday morning. Pictured with hosts Michael Rowland and Lisa Millar.

It was frustrating and I have to say quite astonishing that the students at Gympie High were not allowed to watch the race - it was a moment in history for Gympie and Australia, much less Gympie High, and the school wouldn’t put the tele on?

Gympie High principal Power 30 Anthony Lanskey.
Gympie High principal Power 30 Anthony Lanskey.

Whose decision was that?

Growing up, whatever school I was at, the kids and teachers always stopped what they were doing and watched the Melbourne Cup together.

No harm done. Bit of fun and team bonding over a national event that does not take much time out of the daily schedule.

Disappointing decision I would think.

"Gympie's Melbourne Cup": School teachers Bob Leitch and Anthony Lanskey, join Lisa Millar and Michael Rowland on the couch at ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday morning.

Gympie has always been a part of the national narrative, but after this week, even more so. All roads lead to Gympie, even the Flemington race track.

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