The saying goes, if you want something done, go and ask a busy woman. Three busy women put their heads together one day, and the idea for the “Cowgirl’s Gathering” was born.
The Gathering aims to be more. More intimate than Equitana, more immersive than a clinic, more inclusive than a show, more collaborative than a competition, more horsey than a yoga retreat. In a nutshell, Cowgirl’s Gathering aims to be the answer to a question that we never knew we had but now we know, we want more.
One-third of the mastermind group, Tracey Barkle, of Running Creek Ranch, was able to attend the prestigious “Art of The Cowgirl” in the USA. Tracey is an artist, an interior designer and businesswoman from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, who sells her sketches on Etsy and takes commissions for her beautiful equine inspired pieces. It is an absolute honour to be included in an event of this calibre, a celebration of all things western, honouring the contribution that women have made in preserving and uplifting the western way of life, traditions, and culture. Its an immersive event over three days with three days of colt starting, art shows, makers classes, trade stalls, horse sales and more.
Amanda Loy is the owner of the gorgeous handbag-making Sunday Cowgirl, a Queensland business that designs and manufactures high-end canvas and cowhide bags, clutches, overnighters, and weekend totes. She is another part of the busy trio, and she attended the Art of the Cowgirl with Tracey in Phoenix, AZ, in 2019. They both kicked up their heels and came home with a fire in their belly to produce an event like this for our very own Aussie women.
The final lady in this entrepreneurial clan is Naomi Lee from Sundance Horsemanship. She is a horse trainer, photographer, and graphic designer, passionate on creating and helping others learn the art of cultivating soft and responsive horses that are versatile and willing. Together these three women with their shared passion for horses and business have masterminded the inaugural Cowgirls Gathering, to be held in Kilkivan, Queensland, on October 1-3, 2021.
Tickets are now on sale. There will be presenters from all over the world, showcasing cowgirl art, horsemanship, fashion, horses, cuisine, and skills. There will be male and female clinicians, with the likes of Warwick Schiller, Leah Read, Sophie Babic from the Double Dans, and Holly Shield from HLS Trick Riding throwing their hats in the ring to make this party go off with a bang. There are self-camping options onsite, and a huge bell tent that is fully catered if high-end glamping is more your style. Single-day or weekend passes are available.
The timetable is an eclectic mix of instruction and hands-on, with events like a trailer-reversing class, working dog showcase, trade tents, line dancing and yoga. There are four main areas at the complex that will be offering something to watch or experience, from the indoor arena, campdraft arena featuring women’s Polocrosse, educators’ tent and a trade tent. Naomi says “The whole idea was not to have people sitting around the stands and just watching. The whole thing needed to be interactive.”
With over $10,000 in prizemoney in events like a “Race Horse to Ranch Horse” thoroughbred makeover, liberty competition, Working Cow Horse classes, a ranch roping, and an Extreme Cowgirl Race there is truly something for everyone at this event. Participants can buy a ridden spot in the event, nominate their preferences and then all participants are drawn using a ballot system to ensure fairness for all.
Naomi, Amanda and Tracey still have openings for collaborators for this event. If you think you could be a presenter, stall holder, competitor or sponsor, or if you would like to buy a ticket to be a part of this inspirational weekend, get in touch via the website cowgirlsgathering.com.au.