A decision by Gunnedah Showjumping Festival organisers to embrace social media has saved the annual event from being scrapped and given it a youth injection.
Gunnedah Show Society president Rob Witts said the society upping its social media game not only saved the event but boosted the number of participants compared to last year.
Witts said: “We advertised it better this year on the social media.
“Beforehand I think we were relying on the fact that because we were the week prior to Tamworth [the NSW Indoor Showjumping Titles] or the week after Tamworth … people would associate the two and come to [the Gunnedah] event.”
The society promoted this year’s event on the Tamworth-based North and Northwest Showjumping Club’s Facebook page.
Witts said: “We’ve got a lot better entries than last year … We were expecting to not get enough numbers to run.”
He said there were more than 120 riders entered this year compared to 74 last year.
He added: “What it’s [Facebook] done is brought a lot of competitors with younger competitors – mums with kids.
“Whereas that smaller ring, under a metre height, last year was very low in competitors and this year it’s the highest ring in competitors.”
“It’s looking very good,” he added.
Witts said the society lost “quite a bit of money” on running last year’s festival.
“The Show Society doesn’t run on a lot of profit. We didn’t want to do the same thing [lose money] two years in a row,” he said.