FRIENDS With Horses raised more than $12,000 for the Barmah community in May.
The Barmah CFA Brigade was donated $6000 of the total $12,856.16 with the remaining funds going to Beautify Barmah who had plans for more work on the Barmah War Memorial and the walking track.
One-hundred-and-sixty-six people camped at the Barmah Muster Yards on May 6-14 with 100 riders and five horse and carts setting out on trail rides each day through Barmah National Park.
The ride has been in existence for 31 years and is run by volunteers from NSW, SA and Victoria.
Barmah hosted this year’s event which Kerry Bruce — assisted by a small team of Maureen Blair, Michelle Spence, John ‘Macca’ McLennan and Doreen and Peter Button — brought to fruition.
The ride kicked off with a welcome barbecue on Saturday night cooked by Barmah CFA Brigade and attended by guest of honour MP Suzanna Sheed and her husband Dr Peter Ester.
Both were envious of those who could ride in such a beautiful setting.
On Sunday morning 92 horses and their riders and three horse and carts set out for the first day’s ride.
Monday morning was CFA day and all had to dress in red or face a fine to be donated to the CFA.
There were some amazing outfits.
Wednesday was a rest day followed by games organised for the afternoon by the Mildura riders.
One of these consisted of picking up M&Ms through a straw and passing it from one dish to another which provided plenty of entertainment for those watching as well as the participants.
There were also some activities for those who were not riding and several people took the Kingfisher tour on the Murray River and the Moira Lakes.
John Jackson also kindly took several visitors on a guided tour of various points of interest around the area which everyone found interesting.
On Thursday Cape Horne Winery provided wine tastings and the organisers provided cheese and biscuits to go along with the wine.
Later that evening PC Sound provided an outdoor screen and an open air film was shown of a live musical theatre production of ‘The Man from Snowy River’.
Later in the week a dinner dance was held with a roaring 20s theme and there were some great costumes which people had gone to a lot of effort to create.
The dinner was catered by The Butler’s Pantry from Numurkah with a delicious roast dinner followed by sticky date pudding.
Bunnings Echuca donated several items, one of them being a chiminea and the winner of this was absolutely thrilled with their prize.
The ride finished on Sunday and everybody couldn’t wait for the next one.
The organisers would like to thank everyone who made the event possible and Parks Victoria who granted a permit to use the park and the muster yards.
They also thanked local businesses who provided goods and services for free or at a reduced cost, including the Riverine Herald, Numurkah Leader and the Redgum Courier for publicising and supporting our event.