The 25th North West Equestrian Expo, which finished on Tuesday, 7 June, has been hailed by organisers as the best event to date.
Fine weather, positive attitudes and good scheduling combined to create a smooth- running event, which had participants vowing to return to Coonabarabran in 2018.
To mark Expo’s 25-year milestone, three former Coonabarabran High School students, Lucy Evans (Redfern), Ren Letts (Rayner) and Jess Cormie, the 2012 Highest Individual Pointscorer, saddled up to lead the grand parade.
Following a Welcome to Country address by Aboriginal Elder, Casey Dowd, Expo chairman, Kevin Sharp paid tribute to the late Gwen Gower and her contribution to horse sports in Coonabarabran.
Mr Sharp extended his appreciation to sponsors, many of whom had been involved for over 20 years, service providers, head stewards, volunteers, team managers and competitors.
“This has been one of the smoothest-running events that we have conducted in many years,” Mr Sharp said.
“It is a credit to you, the riders, and your schools that you perform so well.
“You meet so many new people during Expo and fit in so well - there has been life-long friendships formed this year, or in the past, through the opportunities that you’ve had out here in Coonabarabran.
“It was a great few days and we couldn’t complain about the weather, even if it was a bit dusty.”
Secretary, Rebecca Moxham said this was the 10th year the current committee had organised Expo.
“Each year we work hard to tweak areas that we weren’t as happy with the previous year, and having the weather on our side, and the little things we’ve done, have sharpened it up a bit,” Mrs Moxham said.
“This was probably the best-ever Expo in the sense that the weather was kind, we got through all our events, there were no accidents or horse welfare issues and everything ran as per the program.
“All those things go together to make you feel like it was a very good Expo.”
Mrs Moxham said the sponsor and welcome luncheons were both well- attended on Sunday and Monday.
“We can’t forget the amazing polocrosse final on Sunday night against the two grudge schools - Calrossy and NEGS, as well as the Expo Pentathlon, which attracted a lot of interest.
“Although we marketed the Expo Pentathlon as our 25-year, one-off event, I think it was so popular it will probably be back in a similar form next year!”
Former Coonabarabran High School students Lucy Evans (Redfern), Ren Letts (Rayner) and Jess Cormie took a trot down memory lane, leading the 25th North West Equestrian Expo grand parade on Tuesday, 7 June.