RECORD crowds and even animals themselves made this year's Barellan Good Old Days Festival one for the ages.
The event was held over the long weekend, with a record single day attendance and the biggest gathering of draught animal teams ever witnessed in the nation's history.
It was also the 10th anniversary of the festival, drawing 7000 visitors from every state and territory 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 all in harness and hauling wagons, binders, headers, ploughs, carts, buggies, sleds, sulkies and a mallee roller.
A highlight was the 90 minute harnessing of a composite team of 32 horses to the Clydesdale committee's own fully-laden wool wagon.
Barellan Working Clydesdale Committee secretary Norma Zingel was astounded by the event's success.
"We are chuffed with the way the whole event 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.
"It was good to see everyone of all ages enjoying themselves."
There were many competitions, displays, activities and more throughout the weekend and many have said they will be back to join in the fun again.
A ploughing competition drew horse, camel and bullock teams from around the country under the eye of judge Ben Sullivan from Casino.
Darren Gavin of Caloola guided his draught horse pair "Gracie" and "Barney" to the ploughing championship with Rod Sansom from Salt Ash and his team of camels taking out reserve champion.
The second annual Furphy Festival drew enthusiasts from around the country along with special guests and fifth generation members of J Furphy & Sons, Adam and Sam Furphy.
Peter and Matthew Irvin from Barellan staged a Furphy re-barrelling demonstration each day, while collector Josh Powles of Mildura, had Australia's rarest Furphy on display, a pre-1893 cart valued at $35,000.
Bush poets, the Vagg family, took time away from their livestock and cropping station at Hillston to entertain the crowds and raise money for Dementia Australia.
They have donated over $50,000 to date and are aiming to raise $100,000.
Winner of the men's sheaf toss was Peter Brown from Cumnock, on 9.7 metres, while Lachie Rice from Canowindra, won the boys with 4.3 metres.
Breanna Twigg from Yenda took out the girls with 3.4 metres and Leeton's Brianna Gray-Mills won the senior women's with 3.9 metres.
Judge Penny Perry from Nambucca Valley presided over the horse ring where competitors exhibited their Clydesdale and other draught-bred horses in led, ridden, harness and working classes.
Chris Hill runs the largest camel farm in the southern hemisphere at Uluru with 80 camels and 25 staff, and travelled the 2700km 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.
"What you are witnessing today is history.
"Not long a go half of these camels were running wild in the desert and were broken-in on the road on the way here."
Euston shearer Tony Waters captured the dog jump trophy with Lui, the current Australian champion, with a winning jump of seven feet two inches.
Volunteers were also kept busy feeding the huge crowd with 650 meals served on the Saturday night from camp ovens, cooked all day on hot coals.
Cooks used wood fired stoves to turn out around 1000 scones, using 37.5 kilograms of flour on the Saturday alone.
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