Rookie camel cleans up at Tara races
TROUBLE at the barriers ended in disappointment for the first two jockeys over the line in the 600m Camel Cup final at the Tara festival, leaving Boulia jockey Kyrraley Woodhouse to claim a clean sweep.
The final race became feisty when favourite No.24 was disqualified for breaking the barrier early, along with No.81.
Travelling more than 1000km to Tara proved worth it for Mrs Woodhouse, who took out both the 400m and 600m Camel Cup finals on Gunna.
She was also awarded best jockey for her performance over the weekend and her family team Woodhouse Camels won the prize for best handler.
Mrs Woodhouse said she didn't dream of winning both finals, the last race being only her sixth ride on Gunna and his seventh ever on the track.
Gunna had his first start in Boulia two weekends before Tara and he got off to a rough start, jumping over the inside running rail and throwing the jockey. But since then, he had proved worthy of his spot on the truck, Mrs Woodhouse said.
"I love him, he's such a powerful camel,” she said.
"He's amazing to ride, he just floats, no whip, just ride him.”
Record crowds passed through the Tara Showground gates over the weekend, with more than 30,000 attendances during the festival, attracting patrons from all over Australia.
The buzz of the event and sheer number of people was the top topic of conversation among first-timers and return festival attendees.
The three-day action-packed schedule included a headline performance by country music sisters The McClymonts, cultural performances, yabby races and more.