Story By Ian Glover

The 2007 Deniliquin Ute Muster was a spectacle in every sense of the word with records broken and new events. Despite kaleidoscopic weather conditions ranging from bitter winds to dust clouds as well as debilitating heat and rain, a crowd of young and old rocked up in utes, camper-vans, four-wheel-drives and conventional sedans, crowding into the camping areas and getting into the spirit of the muster – usually Bundy.
This year’s show was a smooth-running, well-planned affair, proving that even the most complicated of event logistics can be mastered to create a top-notch event. The corporate presence of Holden was strong with the release of the new VE Commodore ute. The company hosted a ‘Grunt Off’ competition in which teams of five raced against the stopwatch to pull a Holden ute 40 metres.
As usual, the ute competition drew some fairly impressive competitors, including the 2000 VU SS Commodore ute owned by Andrew Holland, of Orange, NSW. A simply wicked machine, Andrew took home the $15,000 prize for Ute of the Year.
Circlework was allowed this year, and as usual there was practically non-stop quality country music as well as woodchopping, whip cracking, art and photographic and vintage ute displays.
Despite the numbing cold, the record for the most Chesty Bond blue singlets in a crowd was beaten – a total of 1587 were counted, up 19 from last year. But more importantly, the world record for the number of utes attending was broken – again – admittedly not by much, but then it didn’t need to be much: 6235, up from 6211 in 2006. Celebrations for next year’s 10-year anniversary are already in planning, and no doubt it’s going to be a biggest, wildest muster this nation has ever seen.

This story excerpt is from Issue #56

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2008