The Milparinka Gymkhana, held annually in the middle weekend of the July school holidays, is a key date in the communities calendar.
Last Saturday, over 300 people made it through the gates, with an almighty 67 horses and 71 riders lined up to compete in the events.
With 27 horse races, which are always hotly contested, especially the Bending, Barrel and Thread The Needle Races, as well as 15 novelty events, such as the Sack race, Tug’ O’ War and Slice The Mellon, the day is not short of action.
Fun was had by all, with awards gifted to a select few who gave particularly noteworthy performances. Leading Senior Rider Award went to Josh Botten from Tibooburra, with Leading Junior Rider Award going to Georgia Gall of Langawirra Station. The prestigious Presidents Encouragement Award was handed to Joe Lawrence of Nine Mile Station.
The day commenced with the observance of a minute’s silence for community members and avid Gymkhana supports that have passed since it was last held in 2019.
“We lost three supporters in the past few years, Gary Radford, Jamie Henderson and very recently Richard Connors,” explained Committee President Anita O’Connor.
“Richard was a long-term member and supporter of the Milparinka Sporting Club and Treasurer for many years. He also lived in the Milparinka community at Yandama Station.
The touching tribute to three respected Milparinka Community members involved a lineup of over thirty well-mannered horses and their riders.
The committee were undeniably excited to introduce the grounds to the community after a recent face lift saw the installation of a new concrete dance floor, paths, fencing and a new shed for the Outback Mobile Toy Library. A new telecommunication tower for mobile service had also been erected, which is a significant addition to the set up there.
“It is with thanks to Regional Development Australia that this was all made possible,” said committee Committee Secretary Lorraine Keurschner.
“We were able to secure and install funding for three commercial glass door fridges and have a new donated playground that will be built in the coming weeks, ready for our next event.
Such an event wouldn’t be possible if not for the hard work and efforts of a determined group of volunteers and some great local sponsorships.
“We have a fantastic committee who put everything together for the day.
“Our sponsors are all local businesses and we value them immensely,” Mrs Keurschner remarked.
The committee look ahead to next year and aim to make the event even bigger and better than the last.