Australia

Will Rogers got his early start in entertainment traveling around Australia with the Wirth Brothers Circus in 1902-3. Will was very fond of Australia and considered it the best country in the world for horses. He also wrote about Australia and the country's politics on several occasions.


"Australia is a fine place. It’s beautiful, the people are congenial and hospitable, and no one making a tour of any length should miss it. There is only six and half million people there, but that’s enough people. Who wants more people than that? I wish I had lived in this country when there was only six and half million. I may yet. You can’t tell. A lot of ’em that have the fare are walking out on us mighty fast.” – Weekly Articles, 1933


“Been reading a lot in the papers about our fleet that visited Australia and the wonderful reception given our Boys. Since we passed that Japanese Exclusion act there is a bond of sympathy between America and Australia. They both figure it’s a good time to stand in with each other. You can talk all you want about a bond of feeling, and “blood thicker than water” and all that, but the thing that really makes any two Nations a little more “sympathetic” toward each other is the fact that they may be able to use each other.” – Weekly Articles, 1925


“I was in Australia many many years ago, and I have always maintained that they had the best horses, I mean horse for horse all over the country, that they had the best horses in the world. Racing! That’s not only a sport with them, it’s a mania. When the big race, the Melbourne Cup, is run every man woman and child in the land has some kind of a bet on it. This horse holds the record for it. He won it I think a couple of times and would have kept on winning it, but the handicappers put the grandstand on him. He was a very big powerful horse, his real distance was two and a half miles. We haven’t got a thing that could have finished in the stretch with him over that distance.” – Weekly Articles, 1932 (writing of a horse named Pharlap)


“I also in 1903 saw the Melbourne Cup Race run in Melbourne, Australia. We were showing there with Wirth Brothers Circus. I think there was forty five starters, run on a grass track and they run the opposite way. It comes pretty near being as great a race as there is in the World. Those people out there just bet everything in the world on that race, and the forty five horses all finished within four lengths of each other with six overlapping the winner. Boy there was a horse race, and they have ’em that good every year.” – Weekly Articles, 1935