Forbes ready to welcome camels

Camel Races committee members Deb Downey and Lee Marsh.The countdown to this year’s Good Friday Camel Races is now on.

With less than two weeks until the April 6 event, Good Friday Camel Races Secretary Lee Marsh and Publicity Officer Deb Downey said everything is on track for a great day out.

Looking to this years program Marsh said 26 camels are registered for the eight race program.

Cameleers will be travelling from Victoria, South Australia, Queeensland and NSW.

“It’s a really strong program,” Downey said.

“We are excited. We are expecting a bigger and better crowd.”

This year marks the 11th year of the Forbes Good Friday Camel Races.

Marsh said the event has grown so much that it is now considered to be a national annual event.

“It’s the only recognised racing meeting for NSW,” she said.

This year’s event has seen the off-track attractions grow with gopher races a new addition to the program.

Other favourites will be back with the RM Williams fashion parade, karate demonstration, peddle powered shearing demonstration, helicopter rides and sheep dog trials all locked in.

A raffle run during the day will give two lucky patrons a double pass for a free helicopter ride.

Children will be well catered for with an animal nursery, jumping castle, merry-go-round, spray tattooing, lolly drop and foot races.

Also booked for the races are stalls of home-made candles, children’s wear and jewellery.

“We have tried to source stall holders locally where we can,” Downey said.

Patrons are invited to participate in the ‘Most Appropriately Dressed’ competition, sponsored by Allure on Main.

Dress can be anything patrons deem to be appropriate to the event, Marsh said.

Entertainment will be by ‘The Battlers’, who will be performing during the day.

Marsh and Downey said there will be plenty of food available for race goers, with wood fired pizzas, sandwiches by the Forbes Railway Arts and Tourist Information Centre volunteers and fish and chips cooked by the Forbes Magpies.

CanAssist is the nominated charity for the Good Friday Camel Races and members of the Forbes branch will be out in force during the day, Downey said.

Tent sites are available for the event but no alcohol is to be brought on to the grounds.

A fully licensed bar will be operating during the event.

Charity sweeps will also be operating and will be run by the two Forbes Rotary Clubs.

Anyone looking to secure a souvenir can do so at the merchandise stall, operated by the Forbes Dragon Boat Club.

The cameleers are expected to start arriving at the end of this week with all cameleers to be in Forbes by Wednesday or Thursday the following week.

The community is encouraged to take advantage of the growing race meeting.

“There’s not many events where the adults are entertained and the children are entertained,” Downey said.

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Footy Talk

Osborne has continued its resurgence as a Hume power by thrashing an undermanned Howlong at Howlong in the Hume FL match of the round.

Both sides went into the blockbuster unbeaten, but the late withdrawal of Daniel and Matt Bradshaw to go along with the already injured Darren, left the Cats ready to pounce.

Pounce they did, completely outclassing the stunned Spiders keeping them to just six goals for the match, winning 14-13-97 to 6-4-40 to remain top of the ladder after five rounds.

The win by Osborne has now set up a huge clash at home this Saturday against fellow front runners Henty, who are also unbeaten and in blistering form.

Farrer league recruit Steven Crowhurst starred with four goals, while Jamie Parr at half back and Rory Muggavin were amongst a host of Osborne good players.

With the three Bradshaw brothers missing and star wingman Troy Cooper, Howlong after much pre season hype came back to the field and face a tricky few games in their absence.

Walla took its winning streak along to three and in the process jumped into fifth position. The Grasshoppers were not at their best against a plucky CDHBU in a 30 point win.

They did unveil another high profile recruit with former Richmond player Relton Roberts joining the club, to play alongside fellow AFL player Troy Taylor.

Roberts did not let spectators down with a dazzling display of footwork and skills, to kick six goals, while Taylor was kept quiet by Power defender Andrew Ollington.

Coached by former Essendon team of the Century member Merv Neagle the Hoppers are having a great start to the season with its seconds and fourths also winning plenty of games.

Henty warmed up for its local derby top of the table clash with Osborne this Saturday, by belting the BB Saints by a whopping percentage boosting total of 114 points at Henty.

Rick Hon, Matt Tolsher and Todd Spencer led a sparkling display up forward with fifteen goals between them on the back of a dominant on ball division.

The Saints were kept goalless in two of the quarters and if it was not for standout performances from Darryn McKimmie and Trent Storey they would have been humiliated.

Henty now has its sights set firmly on this week’s huge local derby against Osborne with both teams the only two undefeated teams in the competition.

It will be the biggest clash between the two teams since the fiery 1998 grand final decider when Osborne defeated the Swampies by eighty points.

Lockhart gave itself a real finals boost with a hard fought win over a tenacious RW Tigers at Lockhart. The home team overcame a tight first half to win by 212 points.

With the scores level at half time 39 apiece, it was Lockhart who put the game out of the Tigers reach with a withering third term effort.

David Johnson, Chris Cerato and Matt Polman ignited the Demons in the midfield as they piled on 5-5 to just two points to the Tigers.

Brendan Simmons was best for Tigers across half back, while Jess Corrigan-Dale with five goals and Ben Joos were others to contribute for four quarters.

The Tigers have a tough month ahead with games against Howlong, Henty, Holbrook and Culcairn in between the interleague bye.

The remaining game saw Billabong Crows score its maiden win for the 2012 season, by easily accounting for Murray Magpies at Oaklands.

Josh Evans rocketed to the top of the goal kicking ladder with nine goals while former Jindera premiership star Brad Preston was best for the Magpies.


Osborne v Henty

Culcairn v Holbrook

RW Tigers v Howlong

Murray Magpies v Lockhart

(sat night LPO)

Walla v Billabong Crows

BB Saints v Jindera (Brock)


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Herberts hammer opposition

Brad and Laura Herbert recently competed at the Youth and Junior Nationals athletics championships in the sport of hammer throwing.Forbes’ location is a tyrant, but it hasn’t stopped two of our young athletes from competing at a national level.

Earlier this month Brad and Laura Herbert travelled to Sydney to compete in the Youth and Juniors Nationals, where the sibling-duo threw hammers along side some of Australia’s toughest junior competitors.

Although hammer throwing is an individual sport, Marj Herbert said yesterday getting her children ready for competing at a national event is a family-team effort.

“They have done really, really well considering they do most of their training at home,” Marj said.

“All these other children live in Sydney, Hobart and other places where they train six out of seven days per week at least.”

Marj said either she or husband Neil drive the children to Sydney every three weeks to visit their coaches – two of Australia’s hammer throw legends – Karen Di Marko and Breanne Clement.

“Karen and Brea were ecstatic [about Brad and Laura’s results]… they said the odds were stacked against them and they did well despite the adversity,” Marj said.

As proof of their hammer throwing prowess, on Saturday, March 17 Laura placed sixth in the under 20s girls 4kg hammer throw with a new personal best of 46.40 metres, smashing her previous best of 42.42 metres.

“That’s a huge improvement,” Marj said.

Marj said yesterday that on Sunday, March 18 Laura placed fourth again with a 49.94 metre throw in the 3kg u18s girls hammer throw.

She said to do two events at that level within two days is an achievement in itself.

“It’s different to change the way you throw… to throw an extra kilogram,” Marj said.

Brad also placed well in his event, arriving on Wednesday in Sydney for training before throwing 49.31 metres in the u16s boys 4kg hammer throw event on Thursday, March 15.

Marj said the children represented themselves, not their schools, at the national competition as they were required to register themselves before going to the event.

“It’s easier to support children who are committed to what they’re doing,” Marj said.

Proud of her children’s commitment, Marj says the Herbert family-team will continue to travel great distances, sometimes more than once per month to see their legendary coaches.

She said while Brad and Laura do a good job of training at home as much as possible, they will soon commence making videos for their coaches to watch from Sydney.

“So we can fine tune everything… hammer throwing is an extremely technical event and if you don’t have it right then you won’t improve,” Marj said.

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Trundle’s ‘tree changers’

Trundle will feature on ABC TV tonight.A touch of Hollywood will come to Trundle today.

The town has been the focus of a television documentary which will screen on ABC television for the next six weeks.

And the local residents are planning a gala launch in true Hollywood style to mark the occasion.

It is expected the entire population of the town will also turn out at the local hall to watch the first episode this evening.

The launch of the documentary ‘A Country Town Rescue’ is the result of 12 months of filming, and more than 300 hours of taped footage, capturing Trundle’s project to entice more people to come and live in the town.

What began as a result of Trundle’s Strategic Plan – to ensure Trundle’s sustainability – the Tree Change project has seen five new families settle and live in Trundle.

They are vibrant members of the Trundle community and have brought with them a variety of skills, interests and personalities ensuring the spirit of Trundle is alive and well.

Zapruder’s other films have been making the observational documentary about this experience, and have followed several of the families as they moved to Trundle and began their new life in a country town.

This six part series airs this evening and the Trundle community is celebrating with a red carpet launch.

A private reception will begin at 6pm for those people who have made the project possible, and to celebrate the achievements of Trundle Tree Change.

Following this, at 7.30pm the entire Trundle community has been invited to the Trundle Memorial Hall to watch the first episode live on the big screen.

Audio Visual equipment is being brought from Orange, and the hall will resemble the finest function centres in Hollywood!

One of the organisers of the Tree Change project, Cherie Quade said the entire community is excited about the big day.

“The focus will certainly be on Trundle,” she said, “with many media organisations coming.”

“ABC Radio will have a live broadcast for its morning program with Angela Owens, as well as for the Rural Report, and will also have report for its Night Time show.

“Today/Tonight is also doing a follow-up and we will have speakers on the night from ABCTV.”

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Pumpkins to take pride of place

Forbes North Public School students Alyssa Gooden and Maggie Henley waded through the school pumpkin patch to locate one of their best white Atlantic pumpkins.The District Exhibits at Sydney Royal Easter Show are famous for their over-size pumpkins.

This year will be no different except for one very important factor – three of the over-sized pumpkins were proudly grown by students at Forbes North Primary School.

The three Atlanta pumpkins were collected last week by the Manager of the Western District Exhibit Les Clarke and Western District Exhibit committee member Tom Dwyer, along with three Jam Melons from the school’s vegetable garden.

Mr Dwyer said the school was invited to grow the pumpkins specially for the Sydney Royal Easter Show at the end of last year as a way of getting young students involved with shows.

“Our students have done well to produce such excellent pumpkins against such adverse conditions,” Principal of Forbes North Primary School Phil Thurston said.

“It’s just like growing any other vegetable. You have got to keep the soil nutrients up and water them appropriately.”

Mr Thurston said although the pumpkins do receive some water via a watering system, the students have all taken turns in tending to the patch.

“It’s been a crazy season in terms of rain so we haven’t had to water so much,” Mr Thurston said.

Mr Dwyer said the biggest pumpkin to ever be displayed as part of the district exhibits was on show last year and weighed a whopping 396 kilograms.

Although the school’s pumpkins and melons will weigh in a lot less than last year’s record beater, they are impressive nonetheless.

Mr Dwyer commended the students on their efforts, particularly with this year’s high humidity and tumultuous weather conditions.

“They are good for the year because there has been that much disease around,” Mr Dwyer said.

The pumpkins were transported to Sydney last week.

Mr Clark and Mr Dwyer were to join the produce and the rest of the district exhibit team at the end of last week.

The Sydney Royal Easter Show will run from April 5 to April 18, 2012.

Pumpkins are also being grown for the exhibit by students at Red Bend Catholic College. They will be collected this week.

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Mechanical failure caused coach fire

The fire that destroyed a Lodges Bus Service coach on the Hume Highway while carrying Xavier High School students on March 20 was due to unpreventable mechanical failure.

The bus caught fire after the main oil supply line to the turbocharger worked loose, a report on the accident released last week said. That had allowed oil to escape under high pressure and spray the hot turbocharger and exhaust. Oil had leaked for several kilometres before the back of the bus exploded near Wodonga.

Students, teachers and the driver escaped unharmed, but the Volvo coach was written off.

The Office of Transport Safety report found Volvo had no procedures to recheck the turbocharger oil supply line. It said the turbocharger had never been serviced nor had its fixed bolts been rechecked for tension.

It said Lodges Bus Service did “most of the servicing on the coach, guided by the Volvo maintenance program”.

Lodges told the safety office that had Volvo had a retensioning program in its servicing regime, they would have carried out that procedure.

Owner of Culcairn-based Lodges Bus Service, Brad Lodge, said the report confirmed the fire was an accident. “As the report concluded, it was an unpreventable mechanical failure involving the turbo. We’ve got very high safety standards and we’ll continue to uphold those standards. The manufacturer’s specifications are all we can go off as operators and we’ll continue to take advice from manufacturer’s specifications.”

The coach had passed a NSW Roads and Maritime Services heavy vehicle check for re-registration eight days before the fire on March 20.

The report said a check on the integrity of the turbocharger and oil line during routine servicing, and the use of a thread-locking system, was appropriate to prevent a similar fire.

Volvo Bus Australia general manager Peter Duncan said the company took findings from investigations seriously and would look closely at the report’s findings. He said it was too soon to say whether Volvo would change its servicing procedure.

The report said no further investigation was required. Its findings have been passed to the Independent Transport Safety Regulator and Transport for NSW.

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Motoring history rolls into Forbes

Members of the Milton Ulladulla Classic Car Club at Forbes’ McFeeters Motor Museum.A small, but diverse part of Australia’s motoring history rolled into Forbes this week, as the town prepared to host another car club rally.

While the Milton Ulladulla Vintage and Classic Car Club is probably not the biggest to bring their annual rally to Forbes, the members had assembled an impressive array of vehicles at McFeeters Motor Museum yesterday morning.

About 60 members of the South Coast-based car club are in Forbes for the rally, which started yesterday and will continue until Thursday.

The age of their vehicles varies, with cars manufactured in the 1920s right up to the late ‘80s. Vehicles that have been brought to Forbes range from a rare 1935 super-charged Auburn, made in the United States, to a Volkswagen Beetle, owned by the club’s events director, Tom Turner.

Mr Turner, who grew up in Forbes, said the car club members planned to spend Monday visiting Forbes attractions, before setting off for Orange today, via Eugowra, Canowindra.

Tomorrow the rally will head to Parkes Museum and the CSIRO Radio Telescope, north of Parkes, and also visit Ootha’s Utes in the Paddock.

Thursday has been set aside for the members’ own activities.

“Thursday is a free day in town and no doubt we will inject a bit of cash into the local economy,” said club president Garry Baker.

Mr Baker said the car club was 21 years old this year and had chosen Forbes as the destination for the milestone ‘annual run’.

Every two years the club hosts the ‘Harbour Classic’ where other car clubs from all around Australia are invited to celebrate.

“It’s all about the cars and the preservation of our Australian motoring history,” Mr Baker said.

“Our motto is ‘let’s have fun’ and at these rallies we get together and do that as a group,” he said.

The club were welcomed to Forbes yesterday by Forbes Shire Councillor, Michael Malloy, before setting off on a tour of town attractions, including the Forbes Museum. Last night members gathered for a dinner at Forbes Services Club.

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Success for Forbes dog

With $12,000 on offer for the winner, it was no wonder the 2012 Bathurst Cup was one of the closest greyhound finishes in recent history.

Forbes dog Irinka Luca took out the prestigious 520 metre Bathurst Cup at Kennerson Park on Monday night and only a head separated first and third.

Irinka Luca didn’t have the best start jumping at number six, but he came home strong and won by half a head in front of Chenzhou Boy and Good Thing was another half a head behind.

Trainer Ray ‘Jack’ Smith said the win was one of the most valuable his dog had run.

“We were not expecting to win, he is a good dog and had a bit of luck, but we are very happy that he did,” he said.

Irinka Dennis x Sussudio is highly regarded at the Bathurst track and his father holds the Kennerson Park record for the 520m distance in a blistering time of 29.72 seconds.

Irinka Luca ran the Cup in a quick 30.16.

Kyl’s Me Girl ($13.10) jumped first from box four and held the lead into the first sectional with a time of 4.30 seconds.

Chenzhou Boy ($6.40) and Irinka Luca then made their moves and Chenzhou Boy lead the field and was just out run in the final 30 metres.

Mr Gazmick ($4.90) from box eight jumped well and got into fifth early, with 300 metres to go he found the next gear and powered home, only missing the win but a head.

Bathurst Greyhounds Operations Manager Craig Townsend said the final lived up to the hype they expected.

“Bathurst racing really is some of the best racing in the country, the race on Monday night was so close and exciting and it is great we have the calibre here in Bathurst,” he said.

“Irinka Luca is a champion dog and he proved that today in tight racing.

“He was one I picked early to take out the race, but with the quality of the fields it could have been anyone’s.”

Townsend said Irinka Luca looked good coming into the final, he lost the heat by a nose but ended up finding space on the outside.

“He did get a bit lost in the heat and in the final he was still trying to find where he wanted to go, but he did enough to win,” he said.

“I was worried when he drew box seven, but he showed that an inside box doesn’t always mean a win.”

The Forbes trainer said he was not too concerned by the wide box draw because he is still not sure which box suits him the best.

“He does get a little lost and is not sure where he wants to run, but I think the wider boxes may suit him a little better,” he said.

Spring Blueboy was favourite paying $2 and was running from box one, he jumped well and got into the middle of the pack, but just could not find a way through the speedy traffic and finished outside the placings in sixth.

If Spring Blueboy did get up and take the win, he would have been the first dog to win the Bathurst Cup back to back and take the two major wins of the season, the Soliders Saddle and the Bathurst Cup.

The richest greyhound race in the world on March 24 at Wentworth Park, the Macro Meats Golden Easter Egg, will have Irinka Luca, along with four other Bathurst Cup finalists vying for the $250,000 race.

“This is an outstanding result, we may have had a couple before, but to have five from the Bathurst Cup in the richest greyhound race in the world, is incredible and extremely exciting,” Townsend said.

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Rugby club raring to go

Floods have forced the cancellation of another trial match for the Forbes Platypi, but the rugby club will still play its first pre-season game this Saturday.

The flooding of sporting grounds at Condobolin this week has forced the Rams to postpone the Brad Ridley Shield match until April 5, but the Platypi’s annual trial against the Temora Tuskers will go ahead as planned this Saturday.

Forbes will host the match at Grinsted Oval, which has been reopened after the flooding of Lake Forbes, kicking off at 4pm.

Forbes first grade coach Phil Prior said his squad is in good shape and were ready to play both matches, which had been planned for consecutive days.

He said the Platypi would be keen to get some match practice against Temora.

“Our schedule has been so disgruntled by the flood waters and so forth, we really need a couple of hit-outs,” Prior said this week.

The Platypi have been training under former co-coach Charlie Dwyer and Ash Hogan for more than a month and Prior said most of the players are in excellent shape.

“Ash and Charlie have been leading our pre-season training and we probably have one of the fittest squads we’ve had for as long as I can remember,” Prior said.

“The colts have plenty of numbers and the appointment of Jeff Stewart as colts coach is very positive for the club,” he said.

Stewart has played rugby in England in recent years and has returned to his home town to lead the Platypi under 19s side.

A recent knee reconstruction means he is unlikely to play much rugby this year, but Prior said his direction had already shown benefits.

Prior hopes the club can arrange a colts practice match before the Blowes Cup gets underway in mid April, but he said the wash-outs meant senior players would be given priority in any trials that do go ahead.

“The senior players will get priority simply because we haven’t actually had a run yet. The early season fitness is right up there with the last six or seven years, but we really need to get out there and hit the ground running,” he said.

The Platypi have retained most of their players from last year, apart from Murray Fraser and Chris Francis, and have gained Tim West and Jarrod Hall.

West has returned to his home town with his employment as a school teacher, while Jarrod Hall has switched to rugby after a couple of seasons with the local rugby league club.

Both would be “very handy acquisitions” Prior said.

Saturday’s game is expected to kick off about 4pm at Grinsted Oval.

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Henty on fire

NSW Firefighter MathewDavidson with his son Oliver. NSW Firefighter Dave Weston with Eliza Murphy .

Jett Weston

Having fun at the Henty fire station open day on Sunday were back row left to right: Jedd Lieschke, David Damschke, Joe Wilson (NSW Fire Brigade), Kobie Skeers, and Elsa Meyer. Front row Shaun Ripps and Fergus Meyer (wearing his fire chief’s helmet). Photo: Phil Takle

A vintage fire truck manufactured in 1938 proved a hit with the 100-strong crowd attending Sunday’s open day at the Henty fire station.

As fire stations across the state opened their doors to the public at the weekend, the inclement weather failed to deter visitors from getting an insiders look into how the Henty station operates.

The Dennis Light-4 fire truck originally helped fight fires in Sydney and Newcastle before being used at Henty between 1965 and 1975.

After it was de-commissioned, it was purchased by the Henty fire station and is wheeled out at special occasions, including their annual open day.

The truck’s open cab design proved especially popular with the youngsters who enjoyed the opportunity to sit in – and climb all over – the vehicle.

Henty fire station commander Bob Kilo said he was happy with how the open day went, despite the weather, and the strong crowd which attended.

In addition to the truck display, there were also a range of free activities at the open day including firefighting demonstrations, station tours and fire safety advice and information about installing smoke alarms and preparing a home escape plan.

The Henty firefighters also put on a free sauzage sizzle for visitors.

The Open Day, which marked the end of Fire Prevention week, proved a great way for people to get to know their local firefighters and learn how to prevent a fire in the home, particularly important in the lead-up to


Fire and Rescue NSW used the event to remind residents that prevention is the key and it is imperative households have working smoke alarms and a practised home escape plan.

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