Heavy Horses return to Gatton

The Gatton Heavy Horse Field Days are on May 4 and 5 at the Gatton Showgrounds.

The 45th Gatton Heavy Horse Field Days will be held at the Gatton Showgrounds on the Labor Day weekend, 4 and 5 May.

Organising committee Vice President Ian Stewart-Koster from Nutgrove said this year’s event attracted record nominations from 125 horses, which is a great number.

Mr Stewart-Koster said the obstacle course has had over 50 entries and the led Clydesdales over 40.

The ridden classes have also been popular.

Entries have been received from some of Queensland’s most highly regarded owners and breeders of heavy horses who will travel to Gatton.

Whilst the Field Days are mainly dedicated to the working of heavy horses, this turn makes for the perfect show and spectacle for the general public to attend and to watch the skill of the heavy horses which played such an instrumental role in the making of Australia’s history.

The classes in the main ring will be complemented across the two days with an extensive programme of classes and demonstrations outside the main arena including farriery competitions.

This age old traditional blacksmithing skill is always of interest to many, across generations.

Off the back of a world cup winning performance in New Zealand, Mr Stewart- Koster said Bruce Donaldson and his crew of farriers will be participating.

Saturday will include demonstrations and talks as well as competitions, while Sunday will include vaulting, which is essentially gymnastics on horseback.

Carriage rides will also be popular amongst the attendees.

Entertainment across the weekend will again be provided by local Lockyer Valley performer Boyd Ridley who has garnered a following of fans with his easy listening performance style.

Food and coffee will be available on the grounds from a number of food vans and 40 market stalls will be on site to browse.

The Gatton Heavy Horse Field Day is the longest running heavy horse event in Australia having begun in 1978 on a property in Coolana, before moving to Marburg then Laidley, and then to Gatton in 1992 to its current home at the Showgrounds.

Mr Stewart-Koster said he treasured the event, which he first attended in 1980 and has been actively involved with since the mid 1990s.

“We have a great, positive ,committee of volunteers,” he said.

“Lots of families are involved who share the love of horses.”

Tickets can either be purchased beforehand online or at the gate on the day.

For further information about the event, visit either gattonheavyhorses.com.au or the ‘Gatton Heavy Horse Field Days’ Facebook page or email gattonheavyhorse@gmail.com