No grand parade, $5 cover charge and windblown dustbowl
I LIVE in Kilkivan the home of the Great Horse Ride although you would have been forgiven for thinking it was (not) on.
It was supposed to have been held this weekend according to the posters around the district but I was home all weekend and didn't see one horse, although my partner tells me that there must have been one because he left a calling card in the main street.
It is a pity that the situation has turned out as it is because from what I have heard it is ludicrous what is going on at the present.
The main event occurs at the Showgrounds which this year was a windblown dust bowl.
What's more you were being charged $5 dollars to go in, and when you were inside there was nothing to see, as the horses were all out who knows where on the Great Horse Ride.
Many people turned around and went home after being told of the charge, there were stall holders who paid good money to be at the event missed out on the custom and some of them closed early and went home due to lack of patronage.
It seems that the excuse is insurance but I would have thought that the council would have covered the event because of its importance to the district they would have had to pay for insurance regardless if it was held at the showground or not.
Personally, I think that it's the organisers of the event seeing how much more they can get from the public by enclosing the event in an area where there would be no access unless you went through the gates and paid.
Being a newcomer to town I was looking forward to being involved in the spectacle as a spectator when the horses paraded down the main street.
This is what it's all about or at least I would have thought.
I didn't think that the organisers would be part of the user pays society.
And as for next year's event I won't even bother to let the world know that I live in the town of The Great Horse Ride.
TONY VAN LYSDONK,