Horse enthusiasts of the NSW South West Slopes have let out an almighty “yee-haw” at news of a funding boost for the Gundagai Rodeo and the popular annual stockman’s challenge, the Battle on the Bidgee.
With both events well established on the annual horse event calendar, the $15,976 in funding announced this week will see the construction of a sponsor and youth shed at Gundagai Showground.
Planning is still in place for the events to take place this year, contingent on COVID-19 restrictions, with the Battle on the Bidgee set for 9-11 October and Gundagai Rodeo on Saturday, 20 November.
Battle of the Bidgee – now in its ninth year – attracts hundreds of riders to what is fast becoming one of one of the leading stockman’s challenges in Australia.
The Gundagai Rodeo is the final event on the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association (ABCRA) calendar, attracting the nation’s top cowboys and cowgirls in a fierce competition for national championship points.
The funding announcement came from NSW Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke, who was on hand to present the cheque to representatives of both organisations.
Ms Cooke said the funding would build important infrastructure which would play an important part in running events and maintaining places that bring people together.
“I am so pleased this project has secured funding from the Community Building Partnership program, which is all about developing places and spaces for the whole community,” said Ms Cooke.
“This new facility will be a boost not only for the Battle on the Bidgee, but for many other groups who use the showground. I can’t wait to see this work come to life.”
Battle on the Bidgee treasurer Kelly Piper said the grant is great news for the Gundagai community.
“We are very excited,” she said. “We were successful a couple of years ago with a grant for our storage shed and we were very surprised we were able to secure some extra funding.
“There’s not a lot of undercover storage currently at the showground and this is going to enable us to have a wet weather area, including for when we have clinics with kids and families.
“We worked closely with the Gundagai Rodeo Club on this application and it is going to benefit both of our events.”