The Bingara Pony Club is feeling very much “left out in the cold” when it comes to the Campervan and Motor Homes Rally to be held in October 2008. At the beginning of the year, Secretary Noelene Ozols received a letter from Gwydir Shire Council advising the Club that the showground was unavailable in October 2008.
Bingara Pony Club has held its annual camp in October since the introduction of the 4 term school year, about 25 years ago. The camp is important as a training week for young riders as well as a selection week for the Jamboree team. It is also the major fundraising event for the year, monies being raised through meals and raffles, which go towards running the next year’s camp. Due to the success of fundraising during the week in past years, Bingara’s camp is one of the cheapest in the area.
The annual camp is now scheduled for April, but this is dependent on the Equine Influenza restrictions being lifted, which is not at all certain. There is some talk that the bans may not be lifted until July 1. If they are not lifted, the camp may be held in August, but there are concerns about how cold it is at that time of year.
A four day mini camp at the end of September is planned. “We will need a lot of weekend rally days over the year and then in those 4 days we’ll choose the Jamboree team.” Mrs Ozols said. Younger riders might prefer to go to Upper Horton or Warialda and have the whole week experience but the Pony club is concerned that they may lose some of their children to those other centres in future years.
Mrs Ozols sought to clarify at the recent community meeting held to discuss the rally, whether the Pony Club could use the showground in September. Rally Liaison Councillor David Rose, said that he was unaware of any problem concerning the use of the showground in September and that he believed “there is nothing in the contract as far as I am concerned.” Cr Rose did offer to check that his information was correct and offered to let Mrs Ozols know.
Interestingly, the Campervan and Motor Homes Rally organisers also approached Moree Council about hosting the October event but were refused, the Council giving preference to the Jamboree which the Moree Pony Club is hosting next year.
“With Equine Influenza this year and the showground being unavailable next year, we are very worried about the long term effect on the Bingara Pony Club.” Mrs Ozols said.