The wet weather was no hindrance to the official opening celebrations for the White Park undercover arena in Scone on Saturday afternoon.
The event was a celebration of all things equestrian, starting with representatives of the Murrurundi 12th Light Horse Troop who held the official ribbon as it was cut by special guest Dr Ruth White OAM, representing the White family who donated the land now called White Park in 1924. Dr White was accompanied by The Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, Michael Johnsen MP, Mayor Wayne Bedggood, Cr Lee Watts, representing White Park Management Committee, and UHSC General Manager Steve McDonald for the official ribbon cutting.
The audience witnessed demonstrations and performances by Scone Pony Club, Upper Hunter Dressage Association, Hunter Valley Cutting Horse Club then an exhilarating show by the aptly named High Velocity Trick Riding group. These performances undoubtedly left many children in the audience begging to join a local equestrian club. The finale of the ceremony, which began with a stampede of children from the audience towards the stage, was a concert performance by Australian Idol winner and Power FM announcer Damien Leith with his band and special guest Mark Gable from the Choirboys. Meanwhile the Light Horsemen made themselves available throughout the ceremony for photographs.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said the new arena was a magnificent venue that will bring new equine and other entertainment events, and more visitors, to the region.
White Park arena has undercover seating for 2,864 people and is a multi-disciplinary equine arena which will also be suitable for other undercover events such as concerts, sporting activities, festivals, trade shows and more.