Horse whisperer headlines Darlington Community Markets

HORSEPLAY: Horseman Donal Hancock prepares Silver to star at the Darlington Community Markets. Photo: Tom Bushnell.
HORSEPLAY: Horseman Donal Hancock prepares Silver to star at the Darlington Community Markets. Photo: Tom Bushnell.

Grab a bargain and help Aussie farmers at the Darlington State School Community Markets on September 16.

Organised by a group of passionate members of the school’s P and C, the markets have become a popular regular event.

The committee works tirelessly to ensure each market is better than the last and has an atmosphere like no other.

Only stallholders offering homemade, handmade, homegrown, natural and upcycled products of a high standard have been invited.

Fifty per cent of the funds raised on the day which runs from 9am – 2pm will be donated to help Aussie farmers through the Drought Angels.

Headlining the event this time around is 29-year-old horse whisperer Donal Hancock who will present a liberty demonstration at 10am and again at 1pm.

The discipline of liberty is the art of controlling a horse without bridles, holders and other physical aids.

Injune raised Mr Hancock, whose business is based at Benwerrin Lodge, has been learning the skill since he was 19 but it was at 22 when he moved to the United States that he refined the craft.

He has since returned and now runs his business which specialises in theatrical entertainment and horsemanship schooling out of Benwerrin Lodge at Kerry.

Mr Hancock, whose horses last performed their routine of tricks and manoeuvres at the Royal Queensland Show said he was looking forward to putting on a show for market-goers.

“It should be very enjoyable,” he said.

“It’s just down the road and it’ll be a good outing for my horses, they’ve been on holidays since the EKKA.”

Band, Griffin County will also perform live throughout the day and there will be plenty to keep the kids entertained, including sideshow alley, a bucking bull, petting zoo and pony rides.

Adults can sample local wines and craft beers, and a range of delicious tucker will be available from the Vintage Cafe.

Darlington State School teacher’s aid Jessika O’Brien said the markets promised a fun day with something for everyone as she issued an open invitation.

She said organisers had decided to throw their support behind the drought because of the town’s rural demographic.

“Our families are predominantly involved in farming,” she said.

“Due to the predicament everyone seems to be in, we wanted to support them as much as possible.”

She said the remaining funds will be used to send the school’s students to camp at Tallebudgera on the Gold Coast.

EXPERT: Donal Hancock honed his liberty skills while living in the United States.

EXPERT: Donal Hancock honed his liberty skills while living in the United States.