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Lower Lakes Stockmans Challenge and Bush Festival

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by Cecelia (subscribe)
Cecelia's articles are illustrated by Allan who enjoys photography. Cecelia is also the author of: "Silver Springtime", "All for Love", "Mystic Evermore" and the new release: "Faith and Love".
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Experience the excitement of Australia's mustering heritage
Lower Lakes Stockman's Challenge and Bush Festival
Photo from media images

The Lower Lakes Stockmans Challenge and Bush Festival will be held in Strathalbyn on the 14th, 16th,17th and 18th of September 2016. The venue is located in the area between Callington Road and Langhorne Creek Road enter from Lanhorne Creek Road.

This year's event is dedicated to the memory of former association President and South Australian horse riding legend, Shane Cooper, who passed away a couple of months ago. Shane Cooper and Helen Angel have pioneered bush riding events in South Australia because they felt the state deserved more exciting riding functions. The festival also commemorates the role of stock-men and horses in the early history of Australia, serving to preserve the camaraderie and skills of a bygone era.

Lower Lakes stockman's challenge, Strathalbyn
Helen Angel (left) with Riding Patch riding school trainee - Photo by Allan

The action actually begins on the 14th of September with the camp draft. This is a free all-day event with gates opening to the public at 9 am. (However, if you wish to compete there is an entry fee.) Watch as horse and rider coordinate to outsmart the wily cattle!

The Bush Festival commences on the 16th of September and lasts until the 18th of September. 3 day passes for adults are $35, Juniors 9-17 years $20 and families of two adults and two children $90. Children under 8 are free. 1-day adult passes are $15, junior passes are $10 and family of four $40.

School groups are invited to tour from $5 per student.

The festival offers fun for all: including stalls, food and wine, animal petting zoo, face painting, live music and the mechanical bull. The Friday night concert features Michaela Jenke and the Zerner boys; and the Saturday night concert features The Rustlers.

Lower Lakes stockman's challenge, Strathalbyn
Noella's horse performs a balance - Photo by Allan

Events will include the Stockman's Challenge Competition, after which the festival is named.

On Friday and Saturday, you can see preliminary events. During the stock handling event, competitors will herd stock in the cattle arena. The next event involves packing essential supplies into saddles and negotiating an obstacle course. During whip cracking, the competitors canter while attempting to make resounding sounds with the whip. When bareback obstacle riding, the competitors must stay on the horses and guide them without a saddle to sit in. The horse shoeing event promotes the skills of shaping and fitting the shoe to the horse's foot. The cross country event involves riding over rough terrain and negotiating jumps. This year's event will cover less area and feature more jumps than last year.

Lower Lakes stockman's challenge, Strathalbyn
Champion rider Caleb training a young horse - Photo by Allan

By Saturday night the finalists will be decided.

On Sunday the finalists (6 men, 4 women and 4 juniors) will participate in further events including Heritage Horse Catch, Poley Saddle Rough Ride and Junior Time Trials.

Lower Lakes stockman's challenge, Strathalbyn
Practising precision riding - Photo by Allan

Camping packages are available starting at $25 per car Saturday night only, $50 per car all weekend, site only, bring your own gear.

The Jolly Swagman campsite offers novelty accommodation starting from $390 for two adults and including swags, entry vouchers, dinner vouchers, hats and a helicopter ride.

Lower Lakes stockman's challenge, Strathalbyn
The horses are waiting - Photo by Allan

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*Cecelia was invited as a guest
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Why? Fun, competition and horses
When: September 14, 16, 17 & 18 2016
Phone: 08 8536 3473
Where: Langhorne Creek Road Strathalbyn
Cost: Free on the 14th, 3 day passes $35 adults, 1 day $15 adults, children under 8 free
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Foodi Photoh Classie
by Haydn Radford on 23/11/2013
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