The High Country Rail Trail Horse Riding Club held their first annual horse ride at Shelley Forest Camp on the 8th and 9th December 2018.

Riders arrived on Friday 7th with the weather shaping up to be very hot so plenty of shade was necessary.

Rob Caddell & Geoff Love were on the job with the water trailer, filling up water buckets for the horses, whilst Phillo Coulston & Jim Scott organised the fire hoses thus making the task of replenishing the water buckets more efficient.

Once all the riders arrived at the Shelley camp, a BBQ dinner was served on the veranda. This was the perfect way for all to get to know each another over a few drinks.

Saturday morning breakfast was served at 7am. Riders then saddled up and were ready to muster at the Shelley Camp entrance gate to start their 25 km ride. Morning tea; a cuppa, cakes, sandwiches and fruit was packed and delivered to the riders at Willkie’s Track by Geoff, Jim, Kerry, Joy, accompanied by Rob & Ant with plenty of water on board for the horses.

Riders continued on their journey with Wayne Gibbs at the helm as Trail Boss with Bluey Campbell, Pud Edwards, Brendan Kernaghan and Sharyn Coulston assisting, as all made their way to Avondale Gardens. At Avondale Gardens a picnic lunch was waiting, delivered by Phillo Coulston and Jock Cavanagh.

At the conclusion of lunch riders continued. A shorter return ride was implemented as both horses and riders were feeling the effects of the hot weather.

Riders and horses arrived back at the camp at about 3pm. Again the fire hoses were put to good use to cool down both horses and riders.

An evening meal was served on the veranda. Afterwards Kelly, Liz and Angela accompanied by Greg Cavanagh brought out the Ukulele and the piano and singalong was enjoyed by all into the late evening.

Breakfast, Sunday morning was a little later and the second ride was under way by 9am. They followed the rail trail down to Karloff’s Road, then back up to the top of the hill where morning tea was served whilst they enjoyed the view of Mt Kosciusko. Riders then travelled back to camp, to arrive at about 12 noon. Once horses and riders cooled down, a BBQ lunch was served. After lunch riders loaded up to head for home, some travelling from Bendigo, Corowa, Bright, Myrtleford, Beechworth, Holbrook, Bethanga and Culcairn area .

Thank you to all riders who participated and made our ride a great weekend.

Thank you to Wayne Gibbs, Ian (Bluey) Campbell, Ian (Pud) Edwards, Brendan Kernaghan and Sharyn Coulston for all their help and guidance throughout the ride.

Thank you to the logistics team, Rob Caddell, Geoff Love, Jim Scott, Ant Packer, Jock Cavanagh and Phillo Coulston for a great job.

Thanks to Joy Bayes, Kerry Love, Jock and Cath Cavanagh for their support with the catering.

And last but not least a big thank you to the High Country Rail Trail Committee members for cooking and catering for the event.

L Coulston (Secretary)

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