Reflecting on the last 10 days of the 2018 Scone Horse Festival, David Gatwood and the Scone Horse Festival Committee have been a powerhouse.
“To get through 10 days of events, you just have to keep on going. We’ve had a ball and the adrenaline has kept me going.”, says David. “Our 2018 VIP, Des Collison was a great inspiration. He took a week off work to attend every event. He thoroughly enjoyed himself and wore a smile and offered an open handshake everywhere he went. We really knew we made the right choice to recognise someone who makes such a strong contribution to the community and takes such pride and enjoyment from it.”
In reality, the adrenaline has been going for much longer than 10 days as David took over as president following last year’s festival.
Backed by his Vice President, Julianne Christopher and the Scone Horse Festival Committee, David firstly made the bold step of moving the Scone Equine Hospital Horse Festival Parade and Scone Grammar School Fete from the Saturday to the Sunday.
“We wanted to work with the Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair, paving the way to package up offerings in the Upper Hunter for visitors to travel from further afield and make a weekend of it. It also provided an opportunity for families involved in Saturday morning sport to participate on the Sunday.”
Moving the parade and fete was a huge success. It had a festive, relaxed vibe and numbers were up on last year. The Yellow Cottage outdid themselves creating their champion float and raised the bar for the standards for our 2019 Scone Equine Hospital Horse Festival Parade.
Through David’s involvement as CEO of the Australian Stock Horse Society, he brought Guy McLean to Scone, the Horse Capital of Australia and worked with the Upper Hunter Shire Council to make White Park work for his main show, raising over $3,000 thanks to those of you who attended the event, for the Dolly’s Dream Foundation.
We introduced a Horse of the Year award this year, thanks to the suggestion of Peter Haydon, and were thrilled to witness the reaction from Alan Young when awarded to his remarkable stallion, Acres Liberty Beau.
In a nutshell, this is what the Scone Horse Festival committee have jam packed into this year’s 2018 Scone Horse Festival. There are some stalwart committee members who are like ‘Energiser Bunnies’, they just keep on going and are the core of this festival. Ten days is a long time to sustain energy and enthusiasm for multiple events and we couldn’t get through this festival without them.
- Engaged the Ideation Group to refresh the Scone Horse Festival brand and logo and manage the social media, in conjunction with David.
- Refreshed the website through Ideation Group, in the hope to make events easier to follow and find information. Introduced the program as a flipbook on the website.
- Engaged Michael Ryan from NBN and Kriston Harris to film the 2018 festival ready to create videos for next year, with a few bonus promo videos of the State Farrier & Blacksmith Titles, Polo, Tentpegging, Jack Johnston Gala Memorial Day and Australian Tentpegging Championships
- Introduced an online survey for the first time in a few years
- Facebook just about reached 4,000 likes
- Introduced a Millinery workshop event
- Refreshed the Themed Window Display competition, run by the Scone Chamber of Commerce
- Added new elements to the colouring competition, refreshed by sponsorship of Hunt a Book
- Announced dates for the 2019 Scone Horse Festival program
Top Photo: Guy McLean, Photo Courtesy Mandy Mitchell-Kennedy, Magic Lantern Photography