First run in 1861, the Melbourne Cup was a cup in name only, with prizes including a gold watch and cash purse. The first official trophy cup was awarded in 1865 in the form of an elaborate silver bowl on a custom made stand. In the early years of this race, the trophies were all made in England and sent to Australia especially for the race.
It was not until 1876 that the first locally made trophy was awarded to a Melbourne Cup winner, made by an immigrant from Austria by the name of Edward Fischer. Made in an Etruscan shape with double handles, this trophy included the name of the winning horse on one side and a picture of a horse in front of a grandstand on the other side.
Edward Fischer was an early Torquay holiday resident who built his 4-roomed house during 1888 in Rudd Avenue which he called Springside. It was located on the current site of the ‘Brenhilda Flats’ complex. In later years the house became a popular accommodation for surfies and artisans and was in the process of being heritage listed before it was destroyed by fire.