Welcome back once again. And what a season it was, one of our busiest yet. There were so many returning guests and lots of new ones. Was great to see so many familiar faces. We still love showing off our part of the world to everyone that comes along.
As busy as it was this season we have had lots happen away from the rides as well.
Bruce and I took Cobie up to Queensland to the opening of the Australian Outback spectacular to see ourselves on the big screen. It was an amazing show, and to be able to watch the making of it and then to see how they put it all together to make the show was incredible. Rhonda and Tayla also just visited Qld and went on a girl’s only night to see the show, but the part that Cobie filmed about the white stallion had been taken out but they still saw us all on the background scenes, she nudged the lady sitting next to her and said that’s my family. Very proud moment! Also she was so excited that Jack’s photo was on the program.
Bruce, Jack and Cobie had an adventure this year as they headed over to Snake Island to Muster Cattle over the sea. They trucked their own horses down. Cobie did call dibs on Magpie and she is now her horse that no one else is allowed to ride without her permission. They supplied all their own food and drinks and the group organizing it takes it all over for you on the Ferry. They all had a ball; you couldn’t wipe the smile off Cobie’s face the whole time. All the other guests on the ride couldn’t believe she was only 9 years old. “She rides better than most of us” they said. They are looking at doing it again next year if they are lucky enough to get on it.
Ronny and Luke are yes still renovating but ronny finally has a kitchen, beautiful stone benchtops and it looks amazing just need a few finishing touches (like the doors on the cupboards haha) but it’s getting there. All the kids are growing up, all loving their basketball still. And this year Luke has retired from footy…. We think… but still very busy he is coaching Bryce, finally he gets to play footy in the Under 8’s, Jake is assistant coach, Tayla is water girl and Ronny is team manager/trainer. Let’s hope they all have a great season.
Cassie, Jared and Sienna have moved back and have built a house on the outskirts of Mansfield on the way to Merrijig. Cassie is now helping me in the office and trying to get me and Bruce organized with her spreadsheets. Helping take the load off myself so I can get back onto the horses more. Jared is still working back in Mackay in the mines and just flying in and out. And when he’s home working on the outside of the house block they brought.
Little Miss Sienna is growing up way to quick. Already 16 months she’s walking sorry running around. Already riding the horses at every chance. Rode in the Merrijig Family Fun Day under 8 Barrel Race on Jaxon’s Horse Philly (with the help of Aunty Rhyll and Cousin Cobie) Got 5th Place. She has already worked out how to walk up to the cattle grate and get around it with a Halter in hand and go out to catch a horse. Jimmy is one of the favourites. Oh and Cobie’s magpie, who sienna has ridden many times already. Think is has skipped a generation it missed Cass and Sienna has the horse gene.
Jack and Rhyll… well Rhyll has been busy in the garden she has it looking amazing and will look great in the years to come. Jaxon is becoming a real little cowboy and is following in Lachie’s footsteps, he has claimed Philly as his but is in the market for his own horse. Darby loves helping pa Bruce around the farm and is always on hand in the shed to know what tools pa needs. Miller is here next to me as I’m writing the newsletter and I asked him “what should I tell everyone that you have you been up to this past year miller” he said well tell them I’ve just turned 5 years old. I have been on 2 trips to port Augusta to see aunty petie’s Station. And tell them about when I fell off the horse on our ride to Sheepyard, but I’m ok and got back on. Also he said tell them about our new addition to the family little Todd. Our little fluff ball Miniature Jack Russel cross poodle who is over at the yards every time a ride goes out greeting all the guest.
Dave has taken over the head chef role, he’s been creating a few new dishes to try on the longer rides to change things up a little. He is living up in bogie and comes down and stays with us to help get the trailer organized and prepare the food to head out. Dave is also a valued member of the trivia team every second Tuesday night at the Merrijig Pub, we have won first prize a few times now.
Also I cannot forget our exciting news, no we are not going to be grandparents again (not yet anyway cass and jared, sienna does need a play mate soon though) but Ash and matt are expecting a bundle of joy in July. Future staff member in the waiting. Ash has just finished riding for this seasons, she held on as long as she could but that bump was starting to get in the way. Good luck to you both and we can’t wait to meet little bub soon.
Bonnie has once again been the backbone of the rides, she has just purchased a new horse, Shilo From Matty Maliki and she hasn’t put a foot wrong, credit to matty for his horsemanship skills in getting her to become the horse she is in such a short time. Bonnie and Shilo had their first Craigs Hut adventure this April and loved every minute of it (both of them). Bon has also started a new job at the Bonnie Bar in Bonnie Doon. But her and Shilo will been seen out on the trail with us this season.
Nikki Joined our staff last season and this season has become a great member of the team, she is great with the horse and loves working with the guest to. We look forward to her working with us for seasons to come.
Luke is finished year 12 and is working in Mansfield, He has come on a few rides this season and hopes to fit in a few more again this season.
Emily has come up on the school holidays and helps on the rides. She stays with us helping bruce and I with the horses and a bit of farm work when she is here.
Tag has moved back to Mansfield, and has helped Bruce a lot with cutting in the tracks , and helping with the odd ride and school groups. We love having him back around more.
Chris Daly, Chris Randle, Matt Bennett, Brendon and kate have all done a few rides this season and we will see them throughout the season again.
Lauchie has been helping Bruce with riding our new horses to get them trail ride ready. In between his new love of bull riding, we sponsored Lachie in the local Merrijig Rodeo this year, unfortunately it wasn’t his day. But he has had lost of success during the circuit this past year.
Matty didn’t get out on any rides this season, but he’s been busy braking some new horses for the rides and has rode himself in some stockman challenges.
On the ride Front we have some great longer rides heading off again this season. The amazing 7 Day Wonangatta Feature ride in January is on again, this year was a fun filled affair with a little surprise on the day off which was a lot of fun, who wouldn’t want to miss Bruce dressed in drag!!
We also have a special Pre Christmas ride for 3 days mid-week that is a great opportunity to get away before the Chrissy rush.
The salting trip was great success so we have decided to offer it again to our guests for your chance to ride with us as we hunt for our cattle through the high country; again spaces are limited so get in fast to secure your spot.
And Don’t miss out on our New Year’s Eve 4 day Ride, something special might be happening on the night of the new year celebrations. It’s a great way to bring in the New Year with friends and family and a few cheeky drinks.
We are once again excited to show off our beautiful part of the world on the back of a horse.