Angela Tiede. Image: Waler stallion Classic Ezekiel on the big screen, Warrnambool, 25 November 2022
The fourth Sunday after The Melbourne Cup sees the running of The Jericho Cup in Warrnambool, Victoria. Public events featuring members of The Australian Light Horse Association are held over the weekend leading up to the Sunday race, and I’ve been welcomed at those events with my display about Walers, much to the appreciation of the general public who turn up to see the Light Horse ride through the town centre on Friday on their way to take the salute at the Cenotaph or at the Sports Day held at the showground on Saturday.
The Cenotaph in Warrnambool features memorials for all theatres of engagement, including peace keeping, and is located in Liebig Street adjacent to the RSL. The Civic Green is in the heart of town, just a few blocks away and opposite the Whalers Hotel where the pre-race event is held for invited guests on the Saturday night. It provided an excellent venue for the general public to get up close with the ALHA riders lined up silently for approximately 45 minutes, with speeches and poetry readings, bugle playing and salute. The Warrnambool City Band, plus my display about all things Waler and late afternoon sunshine made it a great event for everyone.
The ALHA Jericho Cup State Challenge held all day Saturday provided an excellent opportunity for the public to gain an understanding of some of the skills utilised during combat, from formation tent pegging to delivering dispatches, with teams from different states comprised of members who had qualified for the event. I was busy all day with a good flow of interested visitors, battling the stiff Warrnambool breeze and gusting wind in between times.
This was the fifth year of this event, and the weekend is gaining momentum each year. Well-embraced by the general public who love to see and hear about our Light Horse history, and I trust a fertile ground for engaging interest in our now rare breed Walers, once the tried-and-true partners of the Light Horsemen.
Each year brings a new dimension, for me this year was meeting special guest cricket legend Dennis Lillie, who was invited to present the trophy for The Charge of Beersheba Sprint to honour Albert ‘Tibby’ Cotter, a fast bowler and Test player who enlisted in the Twelfth Light Horse in 1915 and was killed in Beersheba in 1917.
And my display somehow made it to the local news via The Standard, yeah right, say cheese!
Photo – Sean McKenna © The Standard/ACM
A familiar dimension however was the rain, which came pouring down just as the Sports Day finished and I scurried to pack up everything into my ute again. That’s Warrnambool!