Goondiwindi Pony Club to host state championships

The Zone 28 team during 'formal day' at last year's championships held at Millmerran.
The Zone 28 team during 'formal day' at last year's championships held at Millmerran.

In times like these it is important to have hope, and right now members of the Goondiwindi Pony Club have everything crossed to be able to continue their events.

The club recently found out they had been successful in their bid to host the 2020 Queensland Pony Club Championships.

While the news comes at a time of unknown, the club is hopeful they will still be able to host the week-long event from September 27.

President, Jody McCall, said this was a "once in a lifetime gig" with the event having never been hosted locally before.

"It will be huge for Goondiwindi," he said.

"We expect to have about 350 to 400 riders and their families in town for the whole week. They'll all be buying food supplies for themselves and their horses, and many will book accommodation too.

"With it having been as dry as it has (and now the Coronavirus) it will be awesome for our town."

McCall said competitors would travel from as far north as Cairns with many expected to cross the border too. "It's never going to be as close for them as this year so we expect riders to come up from NSW too."

Riders usually work hard all year at different pony club events to qualify to ride at the championships.

"We don't really know how that is going to play out this year yet, with all events being cancelled until a review at the end of April."

The week's activities will include a formal gymkhana, sporting gymkhana, stockman's challenge, campdraft and mounted games.

"We haven't organised the program yet but it will probably be similar to last year's," McCall said. "Millmerran Pony Club hosted the event in 2019 and have offered advice and support if we need it," he said.

"We're lucky that we have a fairly resilient town and everyone is so giving with their time and sponsorship. We understand how tough times are at the moment.

"There are lots of things that have had to be cancelled that would have brought people to town and helped keep our community going but we have to find other ways now.

"It's going to be a big job but we have quite a few workers. We'd always welcome more if anyone is willing to volunteer their time to help us."