Cavalcaders rolling closer to Outram finish

Jane Whitmore's Moonlight Wanderers Goldfields Cavalcade trail crosses the Taieri River, near...
Jane Whitmore's Moonlight Wanderers Goldfields Cavalcade trail crosses the Taieri River, near Sutton, on Thursday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Terry Davis.
Terry Davis.

One of the best parts of the 2015 Otago Goldfields Cavalcade has been, for an organiser at least, the actions of first aid providers and emergency response.

Terry Davis said there had been a higher number of accidents during the event this year among experienced participants and ''newbies'', mainly people being kicked by horses.

There had been about five incidents, which he believed was an anomaly rather than lax health and safety.

''The way the first aiders and our emergency responses have worked [is great].

''It's [accidents and responses] going to be a hot topic at the debrief to see if there are things we can reduce the number of horse kicks.''

Mr Davis said the five who received hospital care had been discharged and returned to continue the cavalcade.

Usually there were only one or two injuries, he said.

Pre-cavalcade concerns about fire risk, which at one point threatened this year's event, had fizzled out with the rain during the week, and fire extinguishers distributed to participants were not required.

The rain had been ''just enough to keep the cavalcade interesting'', Mr Davis said.

When the nine trails of the cavalcade converge in Outram today, between them the more than 400 participants plus horses and wagons will have travelled almost 1000km to reach their goal.

Each trail has travelled separately from a different part of Otago on foot, by horse or in wagon, and they will come together for a grand parade in the town's main street at noon.

Host town organising committee chairman Dennis Aitken said today's events would be ''bigger than Ben Hur'' for Outram.

''We have been 18 months in the job planning. We have a small committee of nine top class workers who have made the job a lot easier.''

Mr Aitken said Outram was the closest to Dunedin the cavalcade had finished. In conjunction with the half-hour parade, a country fair - open from 10am-5pm and featuring more than 60 stalls - will be held at the town's rugby grounds.

Later, there will be a dinner for cavalcaders and a ''hoe down'' at 7pm at the West Taieri Rugby Club open to the public.

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