The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Maleny Equestrian
Centre Opens
by Cameron Outridge

About two thousand people attended the Official Opening of the Maleny Equestrian Centre last Saturday.  After Caloundra City Council Mayor Don Aldous had officially opened the riding ring the man from Susan River Guy McLean entertained the audience with his horses Nugget and Hope.

Mr Aldous paid tribute to the dedication of the centre spearheads in Robyn Whitehead and Maleny Pony Club members Helen McMahon and Gayle Johnson for realizing their dream.

“They set out on a mammoth task to raise funding to get this project off the ground and today we all share the bounty of their efforts,” Cr Aldous said.  “The Maleny Equestrian Centre is already gaining a reputation as a top quality equestrian facility.”    He said thanks also had to go to the Maleny business community for contributing $50,000 towards the project.   “Without this community support this project wouldn’t have got off the ground.   This is a fine example of what can be achieved when governments and the community work together.”

The crowd was entertained for over two hours with exciting equestrian displays from many disciplines that will be using the facility.   Children from the Maleny Pony Club beamed their way around the arena to show their riding skills to music.   Local girls Linda and Melanie Schmerglatt from Mooloolah performed a breathtaking display of dressage to music.   Other displays included Western Reining, Performance, Light Horse 2nd Reg, Australian Stock horse, belly dancers, Arabian Horses in costume and so much more.

The Maleny High School students who performed a line dance were so impressive they have been invited back to perform at next years Caloundra City Council Show in Maleny held at the end of May each year.

The Celebrity Challenge proved to be popular with the crowd, with the flamboyant compare Helen Gilmour-Walsh sporting a magnificent creation by Johanna on her head, she encouraged the crowd’s involvement.    Participants included The Don (Mayor D o n ) Braveheart (David Clark) Pricilla, Queen of Council (Councillor Pauline Clayton) Jimmy Coke Bottle (Vet Don Lyons) Bruce Zorro (Vet Bruce Howlett) Cowboy Rob (Rob Outridge) Annie Mary Oakley (Mary Bagshaw) Outback Ivan (Ivan Hankinson) and Dixie Chook (Mother Duck) (Rob W) A lot of laughs was had by all.

Visitors to the event were presented with a Country Fair atmosphere that had been created by the many trade stalls and wonderful food outlets, “it was fantastic to see the community working together and enjoying themselves so much at the same time,” said president of Maleny Equestrian group Robyn Whitehead.

Maleny Photo Lab have captured the day on film and have a window display of candid shots available for purchase.  Phone 54942000.

Born to ride ... “Cowboy Bob” Outridge, left, and “The Don” Mayor Aldous entered into the spirit of the opening. Robyn Whitehead, Gayle Johnson, Don Aldous, Pauline Clayton, Heather Aldous and Carolyn Male.

The famous five ... Cr Pauline Clayton leads , from left, Ivan Hankinson, Mary Bagshaw, Rob Outridge and Don Lyons. 2000 people attend Equestrian Centre opening Maleny Equestrian Group president Robyn Whitehead. Pauline “Queen of the Council” Clayton with David “Braveheart” Clark, Caloundra City Council’s project officer. Dressage stars Linda and daughter Melanie Schmerglatt.

Guy McLean demostrates his extraordinary horsemanship.

The Maleny High School line dancers stepped out in style.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.