✨ As we come to a close of the very first Cowgirls Gathering, I find words that usually don’t flow easy, pouring out of me. To say I’m proud of what we have created would be understatement, we as a team and as a community, we all gave this event exactly what we had hoped for, a feeling! A feeling of a safe space, a collaboration space, and a space where we honour each other and the horse. I’ve heard so many stories this week and I’ve been covered in goosebumps πŸ’› I’m a firm believer of giving credit to where where credit is due, grab a coffee (or a wine) and here we go: Tracey Barkle, without you, there would have been no event. Our long discussions around horses, community, land and culture have driven me and this event! It is also at this point I will thank Art of the Cowgirl World’s Greatest Horsewoman for such an awesome platform that truly inspired us both so much back in 2018. I still read the words on our website foundly … We believe being a β€œcowgirl” is an attitude and a way of being. This is more than just riding horses, this is about how we make our way with β€˜grit and grace’! This event would not have had the same feel without your style, you have this amazing knack of making spaces feel comfortable and transforming the Kilkivan Showgrounds was no different. Those glamping tents, facilities and collaboration spaces really made it feel welcoming πŸ’› Naomi Lee, that chance meeting and conversation at the amazing Sean O’Hanlon in 2019 chatting about Rancheros Visitadores that got us so excited also propelled this forward (sorry we didn’t blow anything up 🀣)! Your management style of the judges, educators and the entertainers is second to none and the smooth sailing of all these elements is a massive credit to you. While this year has been challenging on many personal fronts, I’m so proud of you and the fact that we both stayed true to our word, relationship first. You are a hell of a horsewoman and I’m proud to call you my friend.Robyn Drake, YOU are amazing! I don’t know where I would have been mentally without you this year. Taking on the management of vendors and sponsors was no simple task especially with everything else that the universe was putting in your path. But yet you find the time to call, check in, deliver coffee, cook the most amazing food and have simply kept me above the water line this year, thank-you! Robbie Walker – you are a true cattleman and an amazing friend, when someone gives their word that something will be done and they just get on and do it is so very refreshing! You made that part of this whole operation so easy, thank-you! Cattle Donors Leanne and Ron Eckford from Cross Country and Jasmine and Craig Forest from the Saxby feedlot, a massive thank-you! Taylor, RobbieandMonique Mehl – As my daughter and brother and sister in law I know I have always had your support but what you do for me and this event goes above and beyond any call of duty! Whatever needed to be done you just jumped in, this event would NOT have run as smooth on a whole without you all, thank-you! Brittany Flinn – thank-you! There has not been a week that has gone by that you have not offered your support and the fact you have sparked my writing this year, is an amazing achievement on it’s own. You embody what this event is about mate, you are kind, considerate, but factual and will have no issues having the tough conversations when the time is required! I’m not going to call out educators and judges individually but I will say … Thank-you! To take time out of all your busy schedules and contribute to Cowgirls Gathering for FREE is such an honourable thing to do and I for one will make it my mission to make this venture be on the scale you will be happy to keep your name associated with and the business you get in return is hopefully twenty fold. Vendors and Sponsors! What an experience πŸ™Œ I just love that you came and seeked us out over the weekend to have chats and tell us how things were going. It also tickled me pink that almost ALL OF YOU said “sign me up for next year” wherever it will be, we will be there! Sponsors that not only drove for hours but then spent their time at the event helping others tie down their stalls and re-set up, you are our people πŸ’› Holly Dawson I cannot thank-you enough! You are one heck of an amazing Cowgirl. Thank-you to you, your Mum and the Kilkivan Show & Campdraft Association. I think your Dad would be so proud of what you have done with this space, thank-you for making us feel so welcome. Nev & Bonnie from the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride, Thank-You! Little did we know how much help we could need but at every turn you were there offering, you are a community in action! Thank-you so much for your support and coming to our rescue. Volunteers, thank-you! There are so many of you to thank for being so generous with your time! To the locals that wanted to be a part of this event by volunteering time, thank-you that means alot to me! Edwina Pilch and Jim Ryan you are truly amazing entertainers, thanks for bringing this event to life with your witty and kind words. You pair make an awesome team! To my partner, that happily stands beside me in life. Shawn Loy, thank-you for your support and letting me jump out of a perfectly good corporate paying job to take a chance on something that is so close to my heart. You have put up with more this year than any man should have to put up with in his lifetime, I’m so proud of the choices we have made together for this event. Lastly, but the most important …. The Cowgirls that gathered, WOW you blew us away! To buy a ticket and support an event that was in style that had not been done before, thank-you. Thanks for trusting in us and thanks for being YOU. The smiles and Hello’s when passing each other, the support for another when they needed it. This is Cowgirls Gathering and this event belongs to you! You DID that, all of you πŸ’› So in closing, for now there are many new adventures that await. But as things start to slow down on the social media channels, don’t forget that I’m only ever a phone call or message away! Be who you are and say what you feel because people who mind don’t matter and people who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss Ride on,Amanda LoyCowgirls Gathering Director πŸ“Έ Credit to the amazing Averil Crebbin from Picture The Moment Equine πŸ’›#cowgirlsgathering

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