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1960s Gymkhana

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1960s Gymkhana

Life was easy-going in the 1960’s and community events, especially in inland country towns were only lightly regulated. It was easy to hold a community event. There were few, if any, licences to apply for and little likelihood of a safety inspection.

For visitors to that town, an unfenced, roadside, grassy-strip without a “Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted” sign and the sound of a running creek just a few yards away, with a perfect log seat, was the perfect invitation to wander over and sit down. I did just that, and got out my sketch book and watercolours to create the on-site studies for the larger. studio completed, painting at the top of this blog post.

There was a Gymkhana in the town. I sat on the log, blissfully content painting in the open-air. In the distance I could hear a man on a megaphone instructing the riders. I tuned the noise out, focused on my painting, seeking solitude, with just me and the empty paddock, (field) and the creek as my view.

It became harder to block the noisy man and that megaphone out. He was shrieking into it.

His screams finally got through my tranquil mood — and at last I heard:
“Girl on the Horse Jump! GET OFF! The horses are coming!"


I have illustrated this with one af my favourite watercolours of the area.
Prints and gifts are available in the store.

I travel extensively to draw inspiration for my paintings and writing from life experience.
You will discover my Australian rural-lit novels at

​Ryn Shell.