Large crowds for barrel horse action to benefit the region

Published on 07 June 2024


There will be plenty of winners following the Australian Barrel Horse Association’s Cap Coast Circuit in Gracemere this weekend.

With a large prize pool on offer, the competition has attracted strong numbers, ensuring the Region will reap economic benefits from the hundreds expected to attend the event. 

Deputy Mayor and Communities and Heritage Councillor Drew Wickerson said the event ticked all of the criteria when it came to being successful in the latest round of Council’s Community Assistance Program.

“This time of year our Region is bursting with events, and Rockhampton Regional Council is right there supporting the ones that draw visitors from near and far,” Cr Wickerson said.

“The Cap Coast Circuit is a prime example of an event that brings in the crowds and provides both a great event for locals and visitors alike as well as providing that important economic activity for our local retail, accommodation, and hospitality sectors.

“Our investment of $109,000 in Round Two of the 2023/24 CAP funding has directly supported around 30 local groups to host their events, and in turn these events put so much more back into our community.   

“We're confident this will be an outstanding weekend where everyone is a winner.”

Parks, Sport and Public Spaces Councillor Cherie Rutherford said the three-day annual event received $5,000 through the CAP in 2024 and would ensure competitors of all ages could take part with the highlight event scheduled for Saturday night.

“The Futurity and Maturity event is the highlight of the weekend, and really showcases the sport and those finals will be held on Sunday,” Cr Rutherford said.

“The event has attracted some strong nominations with competitors travelling from Emerald, Charters Towers, Townsville, Alpha, Biloela as well as Gympie and Caboolture.

“Entry is free, and spectators are welcome throughout the weekend, with camping available.”

Club sponsorship coordinator Suzy Patterson said the event, which has been running for 22 years, has grown because of grants like the Community Assistance Program.

“Through receiving grants, we’ve seen our event grow,” Ms Patterson said.

“The funding helps the club make the event affordable, allowing competitors from all over Queensland to travel here to compete and they can afford to bring their family with them.

“That really makes a difference, because as the Cap Coast Circuit continues to grow, not only does it result in a better event with more competitors, but it also helps the local economy.

“The competitors and spectators who travel do their shopping here, they stay local, and they eat at the local restaurants and cafes. It all goes to supporting the local economy.”

In its 2023/24 budget, Council invested a total of $298,000 across the Community Assistance Program. This supports year-round community development grants, regional and local events, and five major multiyear events held throughout the year.

Applications for Round One of the 2024/25 Community Assistance Program are now open and close 8 July, 2024.

For more information about Council’s Community Assistance Program and how to apply, please contact Council on 4936 8368 or visit our website.