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". https://creativearts2009-picturefiles.blogspot.com/
Experience the excitement of Australia's mustering heritage
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.
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.
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.
Champion rider Caleb training a young horse - Photo by Allan