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-  It’s time to horse around  (© Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

As Australians we’re all aware of the “race that stops a nation,” just as we are the customary traditions of celebrities, office sweepstakes and incredibly large hats (or fascinators, as they should probably be referred). But before the glitz and the glamour of today’s race, the very first Melbourne Cup, run all the way back in 1861, was considerably more low key. The winner of the debut event was Archer, who nabbed its rider 170 pounds (or around $300) and a gold watch. Legend even has it that in order to participate in the race, the stallion had to walk over 800 km from the town of Terara in New South Wales.