The horse that built the nation, Australia’s biggest Clydesdale show returns

April 21, 2021

They are the Gentle Giants of the horse world, recognised in Australia as ‘the breed that built the nation’ and over the weekend of June 12 and 13 at Boonah in the Scenic Rim, the Clydesdale will be celebrated in style.

The Scenic Rim Clydesdale Spectacular is the richest Clydesdale Show in the Southern Hemisphere, where the grand champions of the breed are judged, the Scottish heritage of the breed is shared, and the history of the breed in Australia – and in the Scenic Rim – is celebrated.

Over two action packed days, a full program of Clydesdale competition will take place in the main arena at the Boonah Showground, including led, carriage and harness classes. And there’s much more.

The program also features rare trades demonstrations that focus around “the heavy horse” – harness making, blacksmithing, wheelwrights, horse-drawn demonstrations and driving displays, whip plaiting and more. Additional highlights include the Queensland Whip Cracking Championships, the World Billy Boiling Championships, wood chopping, shingle cutting demonstrations, working dog displays, Friesian Horse Troupe performances and bush poetry.

In tribute to the Scottish descendants who moved to the region and brought with them their beloved Clydesdale breed, the event includes a stirring massing of Pipes and Drums, Calling of the Clans, the Clydesdale and Clan class and traditional Scottish caber tossing. There’ll be whiskey, haggis burgers and more and of course, Scots are encouraged to attend in their clan kilts!

“The event will feature some of the top bred Clydesdales in the country, and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who has an interest in this magnificent breed, or anyone who loves horses, or for that matter anyone who wants a brilliant experience in the country where there is literally something to watch and experience at every moment!” said event organiser Greta Stanfield.

The Boonah region’s Clydesdale heritage is unique, and began around the 1840s. When the Australian Clydesdale numbers began to decline in the 1960s, a local family bred vigour back into the breed, promoted its value and presided over the rebirth of the Clydesdale horse in Queensland and Australia. Pat and Col Ehrich and their families were instrumental in maintaining the breed when it almost disappeared from the Australian landscape. The breed is still listed as ‘vulnerable’ internationally.

“The Scenic Rim Clydesdale Spectacular was born from a desire by local breeders to pay respect to the history and heritage of this magnificent horse. From the beginning this event has attracted competitors, participants and spectators from across the country and overseas, and we expect some 5,000 people from all around Australia to attend this year,” said Greta.

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