The Astley Cup was donated in 1923 by Mr Laurie Astley, a well known businessman in Dubbo, for competition between Dubbo, Bathurst and Orange High Schools. These contests were already established, but they were strengthened by the introduction of a trophy, and rules laid down by Mr Astley and the then Headmaster of Dubbo High, Mr Charles Christmas.
The Astley Cup is believed to be the oldest interschool competition in NSW. It was 40 years before any school won the trophy three times in succession (Bathurst High in 1962, 1963, 1964) and only since the 1990s, with huge changes in education and school size, that it has ever looked imbalanced.
The Mulvey Cup was donated in 1939 by Dr Mulvey of Orange, to be held in conjunction with the Astley Cup. For many years it was the big event of the opening night and was attended by local dignitaries, all the visiting competitors and their hosts and a large number of interested people from the community. For many years, at least until the advent of television in the mid-60s, it was broadcast live on the local radio station of the town in which it was being held.