The Southern Highlands Carriage Club (SHCC) boasts a remarkable 46-year legacy in the heart of the Highlands where it has nurtured the sport of carriage driving. Last weekend the SHCC hosted a unique event in Bundanoon, called the Zilco Ashes, that pitted the equestrian talents of the United Kingdom against Australia, drawing inspiration from the famous cricket series.
To top off what was a very successful event for Wingecarribee Shire, the Australians beat the English to take home The Zilco Ashes.
Through their sponsorship of the event, Zilco, ba prominent harness provider for various equestrian disciplines, amplified its impact on the global equestrian stage.
“There was such community excitement surrounding this event which shone an international spotlight on the village of Bundanoon,” said SHCC Secretary Yvonne Wood.
The SHCC secured a grant through Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Community Assistance scheme toward the costs involved in hosting the event. “We’re very appreciative of this funding from Council which played a very significant part in presenting our sport and our facility to the rest of the world in the best possible way, while also making participation more accessible for competitors from all over Australia who may have found the cost of travel to the UK to be prohibitive.” This was the first time the competition had been run in this way, televised by Horse and Country TV, between the UK and Wingecarribee Shire.
“Filming of the event was first class and Bundanoon was portrayed magnificently by the coverage and also our Commentator who encouraged the whole world to visit beautiful Bundanoon.” Following the success of this event, there are plans to hold it annually and organisers are confident that next year’s event will be even bigger.
The SHCC’s journey has been one of growth and community engagement. The club expanded to accommodate Moss Vale Pony Club after they were displaced from their former grounds. A turning point came three years ago when WSC offered a 21-year lease of the grounds, a proposition the SHCC embraced with enthusiasm. Since then, the club has constructed a remarkable array of facilities that stand as a testament to their dedication.
Beyond its competitive edge, the SHCC remains deeply rooted in the community. The facility is a hub of activity, providing camping facilities for a large number of visitors who come to see the much-loved local events such as Brigadoon and Winterfest which help to boost the local visitor economy.
“Wingecarribee Shire Council is proud to partner with an event that brings so much to our Shire and the Bundanoon community, through our Community Assistance Scheme,” says Corinne Buxton, Wingecarribee Shire Councils, Coordinator Community Development.
Whether you’re an aspiring driver, a seasoned professional, or a curious bystander, SHCC welcomes all to experience the thrill and camaraderie of the sport.
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