A former cricket ground at Wombat where it is said Donald Bradman played as a young fellow was the setting last Sunday for a fun gathering of the Wombat Equestrian Group.
Around 30 horses, and several times that number of people, got together for the Group's "Fun Show Day", which came complete with fancy dress competition and barbecue.
People enjoyed each other's company in the less restrictive (although not entirely gone) Covid rules, after more than half a year of relative isolation.
One of the founders of the five-year-old Wombat Equestrian Group, Heidi Stevens, said Sunday's event encouraged people to have a go at showing their horses, "even if they were a bit nervous or not sure about what they were doing".
"It was very inclusive with people aged from four to seventy-something," Heidi said.
"Mums and the kids could all have a ride - there were harness horses and donkeys and fjord pones, all sorts of animals and people.
"We had riders ranging in skill from young beginners to Royal Show class, and it was all for fun and not competitive.
"I was really astounded at the response to the fancy dress comp - we had eight children and two adults who dressed up and they were spectacular."
And, of course, there was a barbecue going during the day, with all the goods provided and cooking done by Heidi's husband Marty, proceeds going to further work on the Group's shed on the block of land in Wombat that has become its home.
The block, on the fringes of the village at 43 Manning Street, started off as a cricket ground in the 19th century, and later was used for car rallies before becoming vacant for many years.
Not long after Heidi and a friend got together to start the Group, the Wombat Progress Association discovered that the lease had come up.
Another driving force behind the Group's success, Neil Barry of the Progress Association, arranged for a new lease so the land could provide a home for the group.
"Then we got a grant from the Bendigo Bank to fence it and put in a concrete slab," said Heidi.
"Then we managed to get grants to build a shed and now we're set to go again to get internal walls, toilets and a shower put in.
"At present we use it to sit in and for the barbecue - it's a nice little area surrounded by trees, very shady."
Despite Covid, or maybe because of it, the Group has been getting more and more interest this year.
It holds a variety of events, including instruction days with official instructors coming along, or trail rides or meeting at people's properties and going for a ride on their property.
During its five years the Group has had its ups and downs, but is now gaining in popularity with quite a number of people from Cootamundra coming along and one young woman from as far away as Blaney who loves the Club and its people.
Next month, on Saturday December 5, the Group will be meeting at the property of Penny and Ken Jacobs in Wallendbeen. All welcome to attend, but please call Heidi Stevens first.
With the heat and holidays there'll probably be no event in January.
Further details can be obtained from the Group's Facebook page (just search its name) or by calling Heidi on 0411 642 529.
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