Mullaley Memorial Gymkhana well supported

Gymkhana gems: Annalise Martin, pictured here with Shannon Stewart, holds her Sylvia Mills Memorial Trophy after taking out both the memorial trophy as well as the District U17 girl champion at the annual Mullaley Gymkhana.

Gymkhana gems: Annalise Martin, pictured here with Shannon Stewart, holds her Sylvia Mills Memorial Trophy after taking out both the memorial trophy as well as the District U17 girl champion at the annual Mullaley Gymkhana.

The Mullaley Memorial Gymkhana was a resounding success at the ground donated by the Ekin Family of Werilto in the 1950s.

The classes were keenly contested, and there were 38 competitors in the pleasure horse 14 hands and over.

Judges were Gunnedah duo Mary Browne and Trish Easey, Premer’s Renata Davidson and Tambar Springs’ Helen Strang.

The first gymkhana was held in the late 1950s, with the local horse-orientated families gathering for a day of many and varied competitions. Many people rode to the gymkhana as floats and horse trucks were not available.

The gymkhana has continued since then and has been enjoyed by all who load up and drive to Mullaley for a day of fun, friendship and friendly competition.

Over the years, a camp drafting competition has been held on the Sunday and has been a very successful addition to the weekend.

After all the years of very dry weather, the camp draft was called off this year because of wet weather and the difficulty of getting cattle out and back to their owners if it had rained during the weekend.

The program starts with the riding and hack classes, and goes on to the novelty events such as Musical Pegs and the John Downes Memorial Hunt. All sporting events are held in age divisions.

The day is enjoyed by all, even though they are usually tired and dusty by the time it is finished. It is a good social day as it gives people a chance to enjoy themselves in a friendly atmosphere, and to catch up with friends they don’t see very often.

Bill Crawter supports the gymkhana and keeps everyone informed of coming classes and reads the names of the winners and placegetters after each event.

A descendant of Mr Ekin, Andrew Craig continues the family tradition as he is the Ring Master: keeping an overall eye on things and making sure it all runs smoothly. He found time to compete, and he won the Local Gentleman Rider.

Major Award Winners: Bruce McBernie Memorial Trophy local boy rider under 17 years: Connor Finley, Sylvia Mills Memorial Trophy local girl rider under 17 years: Annalise Martin, Bob Stewart Memorial Trophy open rider under 17 years: Regan Simpson, District Champion girl rider under 17 years: Annalise Martin, District Champion boy rider under 17 years: Connor Finley, Champion boy rider under 17 years: Charlie Parsons, Champion girl rider under 17 years: Harriet King, Maiden pony hack under 14 hands: Jazmin Hobden, Champion pony hack: Regan Simpson, Champion hack: Bayview Wishlist/Harriet King, Musical pegs 7 and under 9 years: Ella Hancock.

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