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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Bits: Working horse spectacular, cancellations and Tetrathlon


ABOVE: The festival is back after a two-year hiatus due to Covid.

ONE of Australia’s largest displays of working Clydesdales and heavy horses is being held this weekend at Barellan, NSW.

The Good Old Days Festival is known for authentically recreating and celebrating our nation’s pioneer heritage, of which working horses played such an important part, but they don’t forget the contribution of other harnessed animals such as bullocks, camels, donkeys, mules and even goats.

Early farming practices showcased include horse and bullock drawn ploughs, binders, wool wagons and a mallee roller. The festival also celebrates the iconic water cart with a Furphy Festival featuring rebarrelling demonstrations, Furphy collectables and Furphy trains.

Those attending have been watching the weather carefully but organisers have given the all-clear, just warning that it could be a bit muddy and to bring appropriate clothing, footwear and, if camping, a tarp.

“We have not experienced the flooding like central and northern NSW. Please plan your journey, visit www.livetraffic.com for any road closures, avoid any local gravel roads and arrive at Barellan via the Kidman Way or on the sealed road from Narrandera to Barellan,” they said.

For further information go to the event’s website or for live updates, their Facebook page.


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SHOWJUMPING competitions that were due to start today (September 28) at Royal Melbourne Show have been cancelled for the rest of the show due to the state of the arena after heavy rain. This includes the World Cup for showjumping, which is always a highlight for spectators.It is anticipated that the harness classes will be held on Saturday on the arena if it improves or on the trotting track.


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THE weather is also playing hell with the Agricultural Shows. The Kerang and District Agricultural Society has had to cancel all horse events at their show on Monday, October 3.

“We apologise for the late notice but this issue is due to the inclement weather and the condition of the showgrounds,” show secretary Lorraine Morris said.

Seymour Show will be making a decision tomorrow (September 29), before their show starts on Friday (September 30). As most of the early spring shows in Victoria and NSW are generally along the Victorian-NSW’s Murray River border, there will possibly be more cancellations so check with organisers before heading off.

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PONY Club Victoria is encouraging its members to try Tetrathlon.

Tetrathlon is a team and individual competition specifically for Pony Club. While a pentathlon is five events, a tetrathlon is four events – showjumping, running, shooting and swimming. It is a major recruiting ground for the Olympic sport Modern Pentathlon. Riders compete in age groups with the best scores over the four sports deciding the placings. The shooting uses air pistols and targets, and the run is a cross country event, not a sprint. The swimming is judged on the distance swum in a set time.

The sport is becoming more and more popular with boys and girls alike and gives members a chance to represent Pony Club at State, National and International level.

To find out more about this discipline including state event dates and venue visit the Pony Club Victoria website. The new grading guidelines are available to assist riders, parents and clubs to determine which grade you belong. Click here to view and download.


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THE Australian Pony Stud Book Society is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a show on Sunday, November 27, and the program will be available through Nominate very soon. https://nominate.com.au/

There is a variety of classes on offer and some lovely prizes to be won. The committee is also looking for anyone who might be available to help out with stewarding on the day. It’s a good way to get a close up look. If you are interested, please get in touch with anyone on the committee. Visit the society's website for more information.


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IT IS once again that time of year when Equestrian Australia calls for National Discipline Committee (NDC) Expressions of Interest for vacancies.

All of the positions will be for a three-year term (unless stated) commencing January 1, 2023.

Eligibility requirements and an outline of the role and responsibility for each NDC can be found in the EA National Discipline Committee Appointment and Procedures Policy and NDC Charters here.


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The ACT Endurance Riders Association Inc. is hosting an 80km endurance ride, 53km elevator and 40km, 22km and 13km rides on Sunday October 23 at Kowen Forest on the outskirts of Canberra. This replaces the Brookvale ride, which was cancelled due to boggy conditions.

It is planned that the 80km, 40km and 22km rides will be part of the Mountain Challenge competitions being run by the Snowy Mountains Zone, which began with the Eldorado (Victoria) ride in July, but this is still to be confirmed.


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