THE GOOD Old Days Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary at the weekend with a record single day attendance and the biggest gathering of draught animal teams ever witnessed in the nation's history.
Hosted by the Barellan Working Clydesdale Committee at the Barellan showground, the festival drew about 7000 visitors from across the nation to enjoy, learn and experience Australia's pioneer heritage.
The most experienced teamsters in the country assembled at Barellan to showcase horses, camels, bullocks, donkeys, mules and goats.
The animals were all in harness and hauling wagons, binders, headers, ploughs, carts, buggies, sleds, sulkies and a mallee roller.
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A highlight of the event was the 90 minute harnessing of a composite team of 32 horses to the Clydesdale committee's own fully laden wool wagon.
The newly formed Riverina Light Horse Troop, comprising riders from Grong Grong, Adelong and Wagga, presented a musical ride and skill-at-arms display in authentic military uniform, along with a static display of a World War I Light Horse Camp.
Among the attendees was Chris Hill, who runs the largest camel farm in the southern hemisphere at Uluru with 80 camels and 25 staff.
He made the 2700km trek to Barellan with his team and a 1916 Bennett wagon.
"The size of this camel team seen today has never before been seen in Australia since the 1930s or 1940s," Mr Hill said.
"Not long ago half of these camels were running wild in the desert and were broken-in on the road on the way here."
Volunteers were kept busy feeding the huge crowd with 650 meals served on Saturday night from camp ovens, cooked all day on hot coals.
Barellan Working Clydesdale Committee secretary Norma Zingel said the festival was a success.
"We are chuffed with the way the whole event went and it was great to see so many people returning while there was also plenty of new faces," she said.
"There were a lot more families this year with one visitor telling me his son milked a cow for the first time and would be returning to tell his class milk comes out of cows and not from a supermarket."