Gymkhana club ablutions up and running for opening

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

The Lawrence Gymkhana site has its new toilet and ablutions block.

On Saturday evening, as part of the weekend’s 20th annual Lawrence Gymkhana celebrations, an official ceremony will be held to dedicate the new combined toilets and showers ablutions block at the grounds on Saturday evening.

Lawrence Gymkhana Club secretary-treasurer Helen Gibbs said the event was to thank the many local builders, contractors, friends and family who gratefully stepped up to help complete the project in time for the 20th annual running of the gymkhana and trek this weekend.

“It is a big achievement for our small rural community. It’s a great example of how the town pulls together and gets things done,” Miss Gibbs said.

“It will be a chance for us to say thank you to all the people who helped us on this project.”

The two-year fundraising project started because the existing long-drop toilets (built in the early 1980s) were well past their use-by date.

“Through the generosity of a great many people, local and regional funding organisations, we were able to raise over $260,000 to build this new block and we are inviting Lawrence to come along and join in the celebrations around 5pm on Saturday night,” she said.

A party will be held on Saturday night for the end of the second day of the annual Lawrence gymkhana and trek.

“This year we have more than 100 riders taking part in the three-day-long trek.

“Gary Kenny, our trail boss, has planned a wonderful route, just like he has done for all the previous 20 years of the ride,” she said.

Riders aged from teens to 80 will spend seven to eight hours on Friday trekking with their horses around the Tuapeka West area down to the Clutha River before relocating to Lawrence for day two of the ride.

Then they will go through the Strathore Farm site north of Lawrence for six hours of riding in a wide variety of locations before returning to the gymkhana grounds for the grand opening of the new facilities and a big party to mark the 20th, to which locals are invited.

On Sunday the annual horse gymkhana will run from 1pm, featuring pony games and barrel racing while a children’s trek is held around the town.