‘Woo Back!’ World Record

WE DID IT AUSTRALIA!

Heavy horse ploughing for the World Record near Yass, New South Wales, Australia on 4 May 2014

On Sunday (4 May 2014) the World Record for Heavy Horses Ploughing was set at the “Woo Back!” Event on a property in Yass Valley, New South Wales, Australia.

Twenty-eight heavy horses, in pairs or singly, tilled the ground with antique ploughs. A crowd of over 5000 spectators braved the autumn chill to watch the record go down in history!

The feat has now been set in the Guinness Book of World Records for “The greatest number of horse drawn ploughmen/women to plough a paddock at the same time.”

A two year old heavy horse in training with a young handler.

They came from near and far across the country – from the city and the town, across the ranges and the paddocks – and that was just our family!

The giant horses lined up before the crest of the turned paddock, facing into the chill wind. Leather collars and harnesses with brasses and silver shone under heavy skies.

 

The crowd huddled by the marshal’s stand and stretched down the paddock, lining the fences.

Bagpipes echoed across the green hills. Then a young voice’s sweet tones called a hush over the crowd singing “Amazing Grace” and the Australian national anthem, “Advance Australia Fair”.

A school bell rang out to mark the start.

 

Heavy horses ploughing for the World Record set at Yass, NSW, Australia on 4 May 2014

Twenty-eight Clydesdales, Shires, Draught Horses, Cobs and other heavy breeds pulled at their horse collars and plodded over the rise to the edge of the paddock and then turned back on their own furrows.

 

Heavy horses ploughing for the World Record at Yass NSW Australia, on 4 May 2014

All manner of reconditioned ploughs, harrows, and scarifiers tasted the dirt again, some after lying idle for a generation. Some of the ploughs had even been used on the “Willow Vale” property by the father of the current owner.

Woo Back! 2014, Yass NSW Australia_15_cpyrgt

What  a truly magnificent sight! History in the making and living history.

A glorious tribute to the farming pioneers of this country and a fascinating showcase for the beautiful horses.

Congratulations to all four-legged and two-legged participants!!

More photos of the “Woo Back!” Event will follow, including antique farm machinery, carriages and vintage tractors.

The Woo Back! event was held at “Willow Vale”, Hardwicke Lane, Yass, NSW, Australia on 4 May 2014

"Willow Vale" property near Yass, New South Wales, Australia

“Willow Vale” property near Yass, New South Wales, Australia

For more information on WOO BACK! 2014 see the official website and Facebook page: 

www.wooback.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wooback-Yass-World-Record

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For the TV news coverage of the World Record go to:

Heavy horses set a new ploughing record in Yass.

ABC News (online), Mon 5 May 2014, 7:34am AEST

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-04/horsepower-on-display-at-yass/5429350

Big Horses – Big Hearts

ABC News (online), Mon 17 Mar 2014, 1:32pm AEDT

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-17/big-horses—big-hearts/5326006

That thieving Easter Bunny!

Yes, that wascally wabbit is wobbing our apples!

Wild rabbit dropping by to eat our fallen apples

Robber Rabbit

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With a Happy Easter holiday to everyone.

Be safe! And don’t eat too much chocolate!

from CC, the Daytripper Sipper

Sheep safely grazing

Sheep on 'Windouran' property, Burley Griffin Way, near Harden, New South Wales, Australia

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(Play http://youtu.be/D8h4ROAgW1I – ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, Aria from Cantata BWV No. 208 by JS Bach)

To mark Australia Day on January 26, my ‘One Shot Wonders’ this week will feature some good old Aussie icons.

Sheep are an important part of Australia’s history, and export industry.

They were brought to Australia with the First Fleet of convicts and soldiers on 26 January 1788. Initially they were only to provide meat for the new colony (LandLearn NSW).

In the early years, Spanish Merino sheep were developed by John and Elizabeth Macarthur, which were better suited to the hot Australian summers.

Yass Valley and nearby Boorowa and Harden Shires of New South Wales are among the important sheep raising areas of Australia, for meat and fine wool production.

Some woolly fast facts:

  • ‘The Australian national sheep flock is 74.7 million head.’ (Meat and Livestock Australia 2013)
  • ‘Australia produces approximately 6% of the world’s lamb and mutton supply.’ (MLA 2013)
  • ‘Australia is the largest wool-producing country in the world.’ (australia.gov.au 2007)
  • ‘Our annual production consistently accounts for over one quarter of the world’s wool and is often valued at well over $2 billion each year. Australia is also recognised as producing the world’s highest quality woollen fibre – Australian merino wool.’ (australia.gov.au 2007)  

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Aussie icons, ‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 17 November 2013, with Fuji FinePix S2980

‘Windouran’ property, Burley Griffin Way near Harden, New South Wales, Australia

Sources

LandLearn NSW n.d., ‘Sheep Aren’t Native Animals, So How Did They Get Here?’, NSW Dept of Primary Industries et al, accessed 28 January 2014, http://www.landlearnnsw.org.au/?a=266574.

Meat and Livestock Australia 2013, ‘Sheep’, Meat and Livestock Australia, accessed 28 January 2014, http://www.mla.com.au/Cattle-sheep-and-goat-industries/Industry-overview/Sheep.

[australia.gov.au] Dept of Finance 2007, ‘The Macarthurs and the merino sheep’, Australian Government, accessed 28 January 2014, http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/macarthurs-and-the-merino-sheep.

Kangaroo family portrait

Kangaroo mob in the back paddock, Yass Valley, New South Wales, Australia

Say, “Leaves!”

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To celebrate Australia Day (January 26), my ‘One Shot Wonders’ this week will feature some good old Aussie icons.

So today’s Aussie icon is the kangaroo, ‘roo, boomer, Skippy…

There was a well-loved children’s television show in the late ’60s, ‘Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo’. Just about every kid I knew watched it.

My brother even looked like Sonny, the main (human) character from the show and best friend of Skippy.

Following the show, we all tried to whistle with a gum leaf (is that possible?) and thought that kangaroos made that tongue clicking sound. (The reality couldn’t have been more wrong! Ever heard a kangaroo? They grunt and blow air when angry.)

Like Lassie, Skippy always saved the day. Good on ya, Skip!

[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/0/02/Skippy-dvd.jpg/200px-Skippy-dvd.jpg]

“Skippy, Skippy, Skippy the bush kangaroo.

Skippy, Skippy, Skippy our friend ever true.”  

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Aussie icons, ‘One Shot Wonders’

Photo taken Yass Valley about August 2013, with Fuji FinePix S2980

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo is an Australian television series created by John McCallum, produced from 1966–1968, telling the adventures of a young boy and his intelligent pet kangaroo, and the various visitors to the fictional Waratah National Park in Duffys Forest, near SydneyNew South Wales.

Ninety-one 30-minute episodes were made over the three seasons of production.”

[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skippy_the_Bush_Kangaroo]

January’s new joey (‘One Shot Wonders’)

A glance out the kitchen window on New Year’s Day and I was surprised to see a young female kangaroo and her little joey.

They were taking shade from the heat, resting under the row of pines and gums on our back fence. So they were only about 25 metres from our kitchen sink.

I watched them for a little while, fighting the urge to run for the camera and maybe miss them altogether.

The mum kangaroo stood to the left of her joey, with her back to the house. She sniffed the air and then started to have an arm scratch, like she was scrubbing in the shower.

The joey, facing the same direction, started doing the same thing almost in sync. From where we were standing it looked like a lesson in Japanese fan dancing – but with black claws.

This time I just had to dash to catch it on camera but by the time I got back the mum kangaroo was hopping away onto the neighbours’ shaded lawn.

Kangaroo joey at the fence

Joey. But is this a Joseph? … or a Josephine?

Confused, the joey stayed at the fence maybe trying to look for a way through? It was like it had got left behind in the supermarket.

It was so small, much less than a metre high, with tiny front legs. It had a sweet little grey face.

Finally, not happy being on its own, it hopped after it’s mum.  The call of the pouch was too strong.  ♦

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‘One Shot Wonders’ series

River view, Yass or France? (‘One Shot Wonders’)

View of Yass River bend beyond Joe O'Connor Park, Laidlaw Street, Yass, New South Wales, Australia

La rivière?

On a sparkling afternoon in September we went for one of our ambles along the Yass River at Joe O’Connor Park.

I was in a snap-happy camera daze of ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahs’.

Another afternoon walker was also entranced by the green pasture on the banks after a rare, good fall of rain. Cows grazed on the far hill, wandering placidly. Willows trailed their leaves in the water, teasing the fish. The fish jumped occasionally, splashing circles across the mirrored surface.

In her admiration of the enchanting view, the lady said wistfully, “It looks just like France.”

That’s a very big call to make! I wouldn’t know, as I’ve never been there.

I’ll leave it to you to decide.  ♦

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‘One Shot Wonders’ series

Photo taken 29 September 2013

Moo mobile! (‘One Shot Wonders’)

A cow car by any other name.

How udder-ly amazing.

Moo Mobile, paddock on Marked Tree Road, near Gundaroo, New South Wales, Australia

Moo Mobile out to pasture, near Gundaroo village, NSW

Well, we were out for a Sunday drive back in May and there she was – The Moo Mobile – just out in the middle of a paddock! As you do!

Got no idea why. …Well, why not?

Has to be the quirkiest thing we’ve seen while driving around.

And now I have the words of the Woody Guthrie song going around in my head:

‘Take you riding in my [cow] car. Take you riding in my [cow] car…’

and with the second verse engine noises going ‘moo-moo’. Help!

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For the wonderful, full experience you can enjoy the song on YouTube. Show your kids!

But be warned: it’ll get stuck in your head. My apologies in advance.

RIDING IN MY CAR by Woody Guthrie, illustrated by Scott Menchin

And feel free to add your own cow puns below. Here’s to a fun 2014!

CC  ♦

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‘One Shot Wonders’ series

How to find The Moo Mobile:

S35° 00.845′ E149° 17.779′

Near Gundaroo village, New South Wales, Australia – 273.3km SW from Sydney, 37.2km NNE from Canberra [Google Maps]

– From the main street of Gundaroo (Cork Street), turn right into Rosamel Street.

– Continue on to Marked Tree Road. The Moo Mobile is on the left, about 2km down the road.

All tar road to this point.

Gundaroo village, New South Wales, Australia

Gundaroo, ‘Visit Yass Valley’ (on-line), www.yassvalley.com.au

Welcome to Gundaroo“, webpage by Graeme Challinor