Equestrian centre boost

MLA Murray Cowper, Cr Alan Black, Murray Shire President Wally Barrett, Murray Equine Association president Mike Herbert, Murray Horse and Pony Club president Monique Perkins and instructor Natalie Barr.
MLA Murray Cowper, Cr Alan Black, Murray Shire President Wally Barrett, Murray Equine Association president Mike Herbert, Murray Horse and Pony Club president Monique Perkins and instructor Natalie Barr.

The centre received just over $2 million from the State Government’s Country Local Government Fund and the Department of Sport and Recreation.

The long-awaited first stage of the $10 million centre can now proceed to become a focus of regional, State, federal and international equestrian events and competitions.

Murray Equestrian Association president Mike Herbert said the new centre would ultimately provide world- class facilities for pony club, camp draft, polocrosse, cutting Australian stock horse and adult rider events.

‘We have come a long way since Pinjarra horsewoman Margaret Patterson set up one of Australia’s first pony clubs here after seeing them in operation in the UK in the 1950s,’ he said.

‘Pony club events are booked out as soon as we announce them, and bring more than 250 riders and their supporters into the area.’

Mr Herbert hoped the new centre would incorporate a covered arena for Olympic-standard show jumping while the 40-hectare site would provide polocrosse fields, a cross-country course, and a multi-purpose area for camp drafting and cutting.

Murray Shire President Wally Barrett and Cr Alan Black said the council would now canvass for State and Federal funding for the next stages.

Cr Barrett said the location and accessibility, and the range of facilities on offer, would eventually see the centre used for horse and cattle sales.

Murray Wellington MLA Murray Cowper said recent Government funding for the Pinjarra Trotting complex and Pinjarra Race Club would cement the area as an equestrian hub.