Queensland’s Scenic Rim resonated to the beat of heavy hooves and the skirl of pipes in mid-June as Boonah played host to the 10th annual Scenic Rim Clydesdale Spectacular.

Story + Photos Mark Muller

The two-day festival celebrates the venerable breed, as well as other heavy horses, and also showcases the history and culture of the rare trades associated with these beautiful animals, and Scottish heritage more broadly. 

More than 9,000 people attended the event, with an estimated $3.8 million in economic activity generated for the region, according to Spectacular committee member Terry Goodear, after whom the Supreme Champion Turnout prize is named. Terry is also head of heritage and heartland marketing for R.M.Williams, which is a proud sponsor of the show. “We had visitors from every state and territory in Australia,” Terry says. “The quality of the entrants was consistently high – the Supreme Champion from the Sydney Royal Show took out the top place here this year, for example.” This is the Pat & Evie Ehrich Memorial Award – Supreme Champion Clydesdale Exhibit, and Dalswinton Charlotte, owned by Tony and Pam Parry from Denman, NSW, is the horse. “It’s an absolute thrill to be here and an honour to win,” Tony says. “She’s such a wonderful horse!” Meanwhile, The Terry Goodear – Supreme Champion Turnout was won by Dean and Esmay Rheinberger’s Denmore Park Heavy Horses, out of Mudgee, NSW. “We’re delighted,” Esmay says. “The competition is excellent, and we’re grateful to everyone who works so hard to put the show on.”

The number of entrants is on the rise at the Spectacular, and attractions such as the billy boiling world championship – won this year by Gunnedah’s Daniel Wicks with a time of 7 minutes, 21 seconds – whip cracking, caber tossing, wheelwright demonstrations, wood chopping and a mouth-watering variety of food on offer all serve to keep the crowds engaged. “The passion is here for the young ones to see,” Terry Goodear says. “That’s why all this work gets put in – to pass on knowledge so that people can enjoy themselves and learn.”

The 2023 event will be held on the weekend of June 17–18. For information, see clydesdalespectacular.com.au.

This story excerpt is from Issue #144

Outback Magazine: August/September 2022