Kulin celebrates colourful history history

Pia van StraalenCountryman

The Kulin Bush Races drew a record crowd of 4199 people who came to camp, watch some races, but above all have a good time at the weekend.

The festivities stretched from the race site all the way into town, where the Shire of Kulin hosted a street performance titled Kulin Opens Doors.

Based on memories and ghosts of townsfolk past, visitors and residents were reintroduced to shops and townsfolk long forgotten.

At the heart of town, the Butterfly Tea Rooms, which shut in the 1960s, was reopened by original proprietors Ella and James Grieves, as played by Sarah Saunders and Christopher Kenworthy.

Throughout the day other larrikin characters could be seen at the pub, or wandering through the CWA teaching passers-by about the Kulin of yesteryear.

A more scaled-down and intimate street performance called Kulin by Night was held in the evening, an emotional journey of the town suffering the loss of young men through war.

Up the Tin Horse Highway at the race site, race committee chairman Graeme Robertson raised about $1000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, with mini-horses made by Year 3 and 4 students at Kulin District High School.

Saturday's big ticket race, the Kulin Cup, was won by Skye Fondacaro on Wes Cameron.

The race was followed by a sheep race, tug-of-war and dog racing.

The newest addition to the Tin Horse Highway won an award for the Milner and Jacks families, whose horse promotes healthcare in regional WA.

Mr Robertson said the weekend was a success, but he hoped to attract more horses next year.

"I was disappointed with the number of horses in attendance this year, but not with the competitiveness of them," he said. "We're already working on boosting horse numbers for next year."

Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Kulin Bush Races and Mr Robertson promised it would be bigger than ever.

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