THE NEW Baw Baw Equestrian Centre next to Lardner Park has been opened and quickly put into action.
Above: jumping at the new Baw Baw Equestrian Centre's first competition. Photos by William PJ Kulich.
First published in the 27 March 2015 edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
The facility, which will be used by the Warragul Pony Club, Drouin Pony Club and the West Gippsland Adult Riding Club, features several large competition areas as well as plenty of space for parking and preparation.
At the opening on Saturday 21 March, Drouin Pony Club president Richard Stock said the support of many groups helped make the development possible.
Baw Baw Shire contributed a $100,000 grant to the project, as well as a further $20,000 from its Community Development Grants program. The state government contributed $100,000, while the Drouin and District Community Bank also made a contribution.
Many other local groups also helped.
“Without these generous funds, this wouldn’t have happened,” Mr Stock said.
Above: representatives of the three clubs at the opening.
“What you see here today is a great example of a community working together to deliver a great value outcome for the entire community.
“The combined in-kind labour that assisted to deliver these facilities is over 800 hours. It’s amazing. Without that work this would just be a shed.
“Along with the labour came the support of our local suppliers. These people have worked with us taking into consideration our budget and timeframe.
“The future is incredibly bright for the three clubs.
“We’re incredibly thankful for the amazing facilities we’ve been able to deliver in conjunction with our partners. We look forward to inviting you back for competitions in the future.”
Works on the site began in October, with the need for better equestrian facilities having been identified in 2006.
On Sunday 22 March the first competition to ever be held at the centre took place. Mr Stock told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen the facility worked well.
“It’s the biggest event we’ve ever run as a club, so to have so many rings means we can absolutely get through everybody,” he said.
“We didn’t have to put anyone on a waiting list or anything like that, so it’s been amazing.
“Four arenas, a big show jumping area, plenty of room – it’s been awesome.
Above: Jacqui Panozzo
“Each club has had a rally here, but this is the first comp. Warraugl’s having another one in May, and the Gippsland Adult Riders is having one in May too.
“We’ve tested the grounds for the other clubs for sure.”
Baw Baw mayor Debbie Brown said in a media release all three clubs had been integral to the development.
“The knowledge and enthusiasm of the committee has created a high quality facility that can cater for many different groups and attract high profile events,” she said.
“Key features of the new centre include a clubhouse, dressage arenas, a cross country course, horse stalls and improved parking and access. With these features combined, we now have a centre that will allow for an increase in participation and membership year-round.”
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