Upper Hunter

18 Every year, the picturesque town of Scone, nestled in the heart of the New South Wales Upper Hunter Valley, comes alive with the thunderous hooves of majestic horses, heralding the arrival of the highly anticipated Scone Horse Festival. This equestrian extravaganza, celebrated with fervour and flair, pays homage to the rich horse breeding heritage of the region, showcasing a unique blend of tradition, culture, and the undeniable bond between humans and horses. The Scone Horse Festival, now in its fourth decade, is a testament to the town’s enduring love affair with these graceful creatures. Locals and visitors alike eagerly mark their calendars for this event, which typically spans a week and offers a diverse range of activities for horse enthusiasts and families alike. One of the festival’s highlights is the breathtaking horse parade that winds its way through the town’s streets. Magnificent breeds, from the regal Thoroughbreds to the sturdy Australian Stock Horses, proudly strut their stuff, their riders adorned in traditional attire that reflects the historical significance of the equine industry in Scone. Spectators are treated to a visual feast as the parade showcases the versatility and beauty of these incredible animals. For those seeking a more interactive experience, the festival offers a chance to witness the skills of talented equestrians in action through various competitions and demonstrations. Showjumping, dressage, and barrel racing competitions draw skilled riders from across the region, turning the festival grounds into a battleground of skill, agility, and precision. A unique aspect of the Scone Horse Festival is its commitment to education and community engagement. Workshops and demonstrations provide attendees with insights into the world of horse care, breeding, and training. Families can enjoy hands-on activities like pony rides for the little ones, fostering a sense of connection between the community and the magnificent creatures that play such a vital role in Scone’s history. Beyond the equine-centric events, the festival embraces the cultural tapestry of the region. The lively Country Music Night, featuring local and national talents, creates a festive atmosphere as people gather to enjoy live music and dance under the starlit Hunter Valley sky. Food stalls offering local delicacies and crafts add to the vibrant ambiance, ensuring there’s something for everyone to savour. The Scone Horse Festival is not merely a celebration; it is a living testament to the enduring spirit of a town that has been intrinsically linked to the world of horses for generations. As the sun sets on another successful festival, leaving behind the echoes of hooves and the laughter of families, it’s evident that Scone’s love affair with horses is not just a tradition—it’s a legacy that continues to gallop into the future. MAY10TH – 19TH Gallop into tradition: THE SCONE HORSE FESTIVAL