Sir Rupert Clarke Bt AM MBE, was a pastoralist, company director, racing man, and a passionate advocate of agriculture in Victoria.
Although it’s been nearly 20 years since his death, Sir Rupert Clarke legacy lives on in racing and agricultural circles in Victoria.
Long before his involvement with Melbourne Royal, he became a baronet at the age of 7. The hereditary title is awarded by the British Crown passing in perpetuity from father to first son.
The title of baronet is mentioned as early as the 14th century, and Sir Rupert was one of four Australian residents to be afforded the title.
In addition to his agricultural pursuits, Sir Rupert became involved in horse racing, and was on the Victoria Amateur Turf Club (now the Melbourne Racing Club) board for 40 years, with nearly half that time as chairman. He was also chairman of Cadbury Schweppes Australia, which is where his involvement in the Melbourne Royal began, when the company sponsored the Schweppes Stand from 1950-1969.
Sir Rupert became a councillor in 1957 and attended the biennial Conference of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth in 1996, held in Chester England, as one of the delegates from Victoria.
A race in perpetuity is held in Sir Rupert’s honour. The Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes is a Group 1 sprint race held at Caulfield Racecourse in Victoria each year.