June 22, 2024 11:51 PM

Horse Festival Makes Its Long-Awaited Return


Scone Horse Festival president David Gatwood looks forward to this year’s series of events.

The Scone Horse Festival makes its long-awaited return to our horse capital.

The Festival showcases the versatility of the horse and the important role they play in the local area.

While covid-19 prevented the region from celebrating the event’s 40th anniversary in 2020, Scone Horse Festival president David Gatwood admits last year’s cancellation has allowed for further planning ahead of this year’s edition.

“We have been in planning mode off and on for 12 months and watching (with keen interest) changes to public health orders with covid-19 restrictions,” Mr Gatwood told The Hunter River Times this week.

“This year the Rodeo has also been moved a week forward to April 30 and May 1 and the big Charity Rodeo is on the Saturday evening.”

More than 20 events will be on offer for those visiting the region.

White Park will play host to big events such as the Bengalla Scone Charity Rodeo and the Jack Johnston Memorial Gala Day while the Scone Polo Grounds will once again host the Bob Skene Cup.

“Obviously, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary but it is a celebration of all breeds of horses and the contributions they have made for the Upper Hunter,” he continued.

“The idea to have a festival was born out of four individuals getting together as a result of the Scone Cup carnival and we have seen it expand to the series of equine events that we have today.”

In the lead up, he also praised the efforts of his fellow committee members Heath Courtney (Vice President), Mandy Kennedy (Secretary) and Jayne Wintle (Treasurer) as well as the many volunteers who have dedicated an endless amount of hours already.

Finally, we asked Mr Gatwood which of the long list of events he was looking forward to the most?

“It would have to be the concert we have on May 6,”

“To have both Shannon Noll and Dragon, this is something the committee was talking about for such a long time and we have two fantastic artists which obviously span a lot of generations.

“So, there is something for everybody and we are hoping to get a bumper crowd to a fantastic venue.”