Rheola carnivala winner

EAGLEHAWK woodchopper Brett Cole came out on top at yesterday’s Rheola Charity Carnival.Taking out first prize in the Ken Sutton Underhand Championship, Brett was happy with his victory.‘‘Really pleased, yeah,’’ he said.‘‘We probably travel about 50,000 kilometres from September to March for tournaments (like this one).’’Interestingly, his success comes after only a few years back in the sport, following an extended break after he accidentally cut off three toes while woodchopping when he was 10.Events such as the woodchopping, the Rheola Gift and the Miss Rheola Carnival Girl all drew large crowds at yesterday’s 138th Rheola Carnival.Carnival committee member Merv Mason said the event’s ongoing popularity was because of the element of community participation.‘‘It is a thing for people, not professionals,’’ he said.‘‘So it appeals to the people that want to participate.‘‘It’s also so diverse (and) has a traditional contribution to the Dunolly and Inglewood hospitals.’’About 3500 people attended the carnival, with almost $8900 collected from the gate going towards the capital works programs at the hospitals.Families lunched on picnic blankets and wandered through the other exhibitions on offer such as the Vintage Tractor Pull, the Small Stationary Engines Display and the Classic Car and Ute display.The Open Gymkhana had an unexpected number of entries - judges were kept on their toes trying to award places for more than 60 horses across the different events.Officials described riders attendance as exceptional, and suggested the equine influenza and subsequent lack of organised competitions may have influenced entries this year.Also held at the annual Rheola Charity Carnival were clay target shooting, sheepdog trials and children’s foot and novelty races.

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