Off to Oxley

Off to Oxley

The annual Mountain Cattlemen’s Association of Victoria (MCAV) Get Together festival is on this weekend, January 11-13.

This year it will be hosted at the Oxley Recreation Reserve, near Wangaratta over in North East Victoria, but has still attracted plenty of entries from East Gippsland locals in the MCAV Cattlemen’s open, ladies and junior challenges.

The 2017 ladies challenge winner, Carrie Jones, of Nicholson, has entered again, as has young Sarah Faithfull, of Flaggy Creek, the 2018 winner of the Cattlekids Challenge, however she will face stiff competition from older sister, Katie, and the Semmens girls of Sale.

Chris Connley, of Benambra, winner of the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017 open titles is up for another go-round, while Lindenow’s Brett Lancaster, who won the 2015 and 2016 opens has also thrown his hat in the ring.

Each section is limited to 15 riders with only the top 10 making it to the 2.2-kilometre race on the Sunday.

However, if you’re not keen on taking a horse across the mountains, that’s okay.

“You don’t have to be horsey or a cattleman to have fun at Oxley,” MCAV president, Graeme Stoney, said.

“There are live bands every night and loads of day entertainment.”

Mr Stoney said $10 from every online camp ticket sold for the MCAV 2019 Get Together would be donated to Victorian drought relief.

“Drought conditions are making it tough for many farming families and the Get Together will do its bit to support farmers in the East Gippsland area.”

The Get Together is a three-day event celebrating the heritage of the High Country.

There are plenty of novelty events for humans on foot, as well as dogs.

This year the event format includes the usual dog high jump on Saturday, and a dog water jump on Sunday.

On Saturday there are children’s whipcracking competitions, horse novelties, a poetry competition, hay stacking, the bushman’s challenge, a monster auction and the ever popular tug-o-war.

From 4pm Saturday the children’s tent and disco opens and at 6pm the top 10 challenge finalists are announced.

On Sunday the Doug Treasure junior walking race starts at 9.15am, then the Great Australian packhorse race is at 10am, followed by the Rusty Connley Memorial race at 11.30am.

The junior cattlemen’s cup race is at midday, the ladies at 12.30pm and the open at 1pm with presentations at 2.30pm.

The Mulga Bill Bike Race will bring plenty of laughs at 3pm Sunday, as will the ‘carry your partner’ race at 3.30pm.

Live music on Saturday night is from Ruckus, followed by Danny Phegan and Longreach, then Sunday night is rounded off with music from Jay Podger.