Riders take to the trail in the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride.contributed
Riders take to the trail in the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride.contributed

Minister to finally open delayed equestrian project

KILKIVAN is taking a step towards becoming the equestrian mecca this weekend, with the opening of the $2 million equestrian centre.

The official opening of the new multimillion-dollar Kilkivan Equestrian Centre will be held on Saturday after being delayed twice this year.

Riders take to the trail in the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride.contributed
Riders take to the trail in the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride.contributed

"There is a strong equestrian community in Kilkivan and it is perfectly situated for the western region as it is central for Goomeri, Widgee and Tansey," Kilkivan Great Horse Ride president and Councillor Hilary Smerdon said.

"We can host bigger events like barrel racing, cutting, ranching and rodeos. They will be more user friendly with the centre because the audience can be among the action with a better set up.

"Previously these events might not have come to Kilkivan because there was no venue and having that attracts those events there."

Smerdon said he was anticipating a good crowd.

"The barrel racing is the first event to be held in the new facility it will start at 3pm and the final at 6.30pm," he said.

Cr Hilary Smerdon.
Cr Hilary Smerdon.

Despite the Gympie Regional Council's money spent to making the centre, Smerdon said there were still a few improvements needed to turn it into a full facility.

"We have the basic bones of a good set-up but there are no yards, seating, bar or canteen. It needs to be finished off to make it into a good centre and have it as a complete package.

"Everything will be there and people can just run their event," Smerdon said.

"Equestrian centres in Maryborough and Caboolture are well patronised and we can do something similar here. It will benefit the region because it will bring more people and money into the region.

"It is good for the area."

Not-for-profit and private users are able to use the facility for free.

"We just want people to get used to using the facility and change their habits," he said.

Minister for Local Government Stirling Hinchliffe and mayor Mick Curran will officially open the centre at 2.45pm and the naming of the building at 6.15pm.