Gymkhana club holds triple celebration — and no-one fell off

The Lawrence Gymkhana Club has concluded a busy weekend in which it celebrated its 20th annual horse trek, opened a much needed new ablutions and social-room building and then hosted its 80th annual gymkhana.

Six-year-old Ridge Kenny is led by his father, Jimmy, while his grandfather, trek trail boss...
Six-year-old Ridge Kenny is led by his father, Jimmy, while his grandfather, trek trail boss Graham, watches from behind as the pair lead the trek riders on to the Lawrence Gymkhana grounds. Ridge is the fourth generation of riders from the Kenny family to take part in the annual trek. PHOTOS: JOHN COSGROVE
Lawrence Gymkhana Club president Paul Wilson was happy with the turnout.

"We had over 120 riders for the trek, had a wonderful opening ceremony and party on Saturday evening and on Sunday lots of younger riders entered the gymkhana this year," he said.

Our new facilities are more than just an ablutions block; the new building has showers, toilets and a new social room for all the associated clubs here to use.

"[It] took us two years to put together the funding for it, and we are extremely grateful for all the local contractors and people who helped us in many different ways.

"This year the numbers entering the juniors section of the gymkhana showed us there is a good future for the club," he said.

The gymkhana riders competed in a round-robin series of games and

horse-riding skills activities that included bale racing, sack races, musical chairs, gate jumping and agility events.

Trek trail boss Graham Kenny said this year’s three-day trek was a great ride.

"We started at Tuapeka West riding down to the Clutha River and then back for 35km on Friday,’’ he said.

Some of the 120 riders who took part in the 20th annual trek run by the Lawrence Gymkhana Club...
Some of the 120 riders who took part in the 20th annual trek run by the Lawrence Gymkhana Club enter the Lawrence rodeo grounds to finish their three-day ride.
"The next day, we took them around the Crawfords’ farm, north of Lawrence, for another 35km of scenic riding, then on Sunday we had a shorter 20km ride through the forestry before we all returned to Lawrence for the annual gymkhana.

"It was a great couple of great days with no-one falling off."

Caitlyn Forde, of Balclutha, leads Breeze home in her walk trot lead agility race at the Lawrence...
Caitlyn Forde, of Balclutha, leads Breeze home in her walk trot lead agility race at the Lawrence Gymkhana on Sunday.
Mr Kenny said the annual gymkhana had been going for more than 80 years.

"We only missed one year way back, due to the polio outbreak," he said.

"This year our oldest rider was 84 years old and he has come back many times to ride the course, while the youngest was 13, and she has ridden on the annual trek since she was 10."

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