Light Horse troop rides again, in Apple and Grape parade

Jim Hamilton and Bruce Petrie lead the JF Thomas Riding Troop in the 2018 Apple and Grape Festival grand parade.
Jim Hamilton and Bruce Petrie lead the JF Thomas Riding Troop in the 2018 Apple and Grape Festival grand parade.

Six horsemen and women of the JF Thomas Riding Troop represented Tenterfield well in the grand parade of Stanthorpe’s biennial Apple and Grape Festival on Saturday, March 3.

Bruce Petrie and Jim Hamilton led Murray Finnerty, Susan Bailey and Gatton guest riders Beth Clark and son David in the parade. The Clarks belong to a light horse troop in Gatton and met up with the JF Thomas riders at the Tenterfield Show, and opted to join in for the festival.

Along with the troop, Wallangarra State School had a strong showing of students and staff in the parade, and councillor Don Forbes proudly carried the flag for his navy contingent.

While the weather threatened the rain held off until later in the day, when nighttime entertainment had to curtailed and the fireworks were cancelled, but the parade itself was a huge affair. With an estimated 110,000 people involved over the 10-day festival, a fair number of them lined the main street of Stanthorpe (including a lot of familiar faces from Tenterfield) to cheer on not only the Light Horse but many schools, community groups, bands and businesses who walked, drove or rode down the strip.

Mr Petrie said the troop’s next outing would be the ANZAC Day parade through Tenterfield.

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