HORSES are often the subject of punters’ disputes, but it’s pretty rare for carousel horses to become the focus of a betting ring.
Legend has it that some carousel horses which will be displayed at the Wanneroo Agricultural Show on November 25 and 26 were once the subject of a punters’ dispute at a country pub back in the late ’60s.
The beautifully crafted horses, which were part of a carousel made around 1890 by Savage of England, will take pride of place outside the Northern Suburbs Men’s Shed stand on the show weekend. They are owned by the WA Showmen’s Association’s Jennie Pell who has invited the Men’s Shed to restore a desecrated horse to its former glory.
Jennie, whose company Show West bought the carousel in 1977, says the carousel was once a regular at sideshow alleys at WA country towns, sometimes attending as many as three to four shows a week.
“We purchased the carousel in 1977 from Bernie Heywood who obtained it from his father, Barney,” Jennie said.
“There was a story doing the rounds that a previous owner took bets at a country pub that he had 36 horses outside on his trailer. I believe a fight ensued when the punters discovered they were carousel horses.”
An example of a horse that has been completely restored, as well as a damaged horse, will be displayed at the Wanneroo Show.
When the damaged horse is restored it will be raffled with the proceeds going to a local charity.
Northern Suburbs Men’s Shed spokesman George Day says the 35 retirees who attend the men’s shed collectively have decades of experience in a wide variety of trades and professions including carpentry, French polishing and architecture.
“We look forward to devising a plan to bringing this horse back to its former glory,” George said.
“We’ll also be waving the flag and showing off our other work such as creating toys, intarsia and jewellery boxes.”
Show West has been bringing carousels as well as other rides to sideshow alley at the Wanneroo Show since 1977.
Sideshow alley promises plenty of excitement for show goers again this year with rides such as the wave swinger, nitro, star flyer, cliff hanger, gravitron and zipper.
Smaller kids can look forward to the London bus, mini mouse, bees jets, Hampton bikes, water balls, dragon wagon, samba balloons, dragster slide, raptor inflatable, fun factory and dumbo elephants.
Wanneroo Agricultural Society president Dot Newton said other show highlights included demonstrations by a blacksmith as well as sheep shearing, animal farms, displays by birds of prey, rabbit jumping, reptiles and sled dogs.
The finals of Wanneroo Idol will be held on the Saturday night.
Tickets are $15, $10 concession and $5 for children over 5 and under 16. A group ticket for two adults and two children is just $30.
To learn more about the show visit www.wannerooshow.com.
Where: Wanneroo Showground
When: Friday, Nov 25; 4-10pm and Saturday, Nov 26; 9am-10pm
Fireworks: Each night at 9.15pm