BIG RIDE: Ray Matthews, Rod Cotter and Barry McIntyre at the Widgee Showgrounds. Contributed
BIG RIDE: Ray Matthews, Rod Cotter and Barry McIntyre at the Widgee Showgrounds. Contributed

Silver lining for Widgee

THE January floods may have conspired against The Kilkivan Great Horse Ride but they will have a silver lining for Widgee.

For the first and maybe only time, the ride will be run in reverse from Kilkivan to Widgee, this year, giving horse lovers a once in a lifetime opportunity.

One of the ride's trail bosses, Llew Evans, said it was a great chance for horse men and women to ride into Widgee.

He said the Kilkivan Showgrounds and some of the trails had been washed away twice in the January floods.

The showgrounds had only just been repaired for the national camp draft finals held last week.

"We just couldn't run the ride at the normal time and it was time for the Angel Flight ride so we combined events," Mr Evans said.

Ride secretary Virginia Wolski said they were hoping to draw crowds who had normally gone to other rides and competitions.

"It's just a wonderful time for families; mum and dad enjoying quality time with their children in the outdoors.

"It will be a nice ride. The countryside they're riding through is not that rough, plenty of rolling hills. It's just beautiful countryside."

"The views are beautiful, on one of the peaks you can see back to Gympie - it's really worth it."

With three trails to choose from, riders can opt for either the 30km Widgee Hanging Rock Trail, leaving from the Lahiff's property in Rossmore Rd with a stop at The Top for billy tea and damper; or they can choose the 30km Woolooga Angel Flight Trail, leaving from Turavale on the Bauple-Woolooga Rd and including a billy tea smoko stop.

And for the carriage riders, their trail leaves from Widgee Showgrounds, following a mixture of quiet rural roads and bush tracks with a stop for billy tea smoko (but BYO food).

All three rides meet for lunch at Thornside Homestead where a barbecue lunch will be available or BYO if you prefer.

All rides will then follow on and terminate at the Widgee Showgrounds where organisers have arranged a night of fun and entertainment.

Gympie Times

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