Showjumping Festival leaves town for Jindy

COOMA'S hugely popular equestrian competition, the Snowy Mountains Showjumping Festival will be relocated to Jindabyne next year.

The week long event has been hosted at the Cooma Showground for the past six years and attracts hundreds of people to town every summer, injecting thousands of dollars into the local economy.

However, event organisers say the event has outgrown the venue.

But it's not all bad news, as the event will remain in the snowy mountains and is being moved to The Station Resort in Jindabyne.

Snowy Mountains Showjumping Festival organiser Tim Dreverman said the decision to move the event was not made lightly and it was one made to allow the Festival to grow.

"Part of the reason is that we have outgrown the Cooma Showground and the facilities there [at the Cooma Showground]," Mr Dreverman said.

"In 2008 we had 110 riders and 150 horses. In 2013 we had 295 riders and 480 horses.

"It's just grown at an astronomical rate."

"The move to The Station Resort will allow us to grow 20 per cent bigger."

Mr Dreverman thanked the Cooma-Monaro Shire Council for its continued support in allowing the festival to be held at the Showground.

The Festival moved to the Cooma Showground in 2008. It was first held at the Jindabyne Equestrian Resort in 2005.

Cooma-Monaro Shire mayor Dean Lynch said he was sorry to see the event leave Cooma, but was happy it would continue to be held in the region.

"In the past, council has supported the festival and would have continued to support the festival in the future," Cr Lynch said.

He admitted some local businesses, particularly at the southern end of Cooma near the Showground, may feel a financial impact.

However, he believes Cooma would still benefit with the event being held close by.

"The horse trucks will still be coming through town, they will be getting fuel and groceries.

"I don't think we have lost out completely."

A survey of businesses in 2012 conducted by the Cooma Visitors Centre after the festival found that half of the businesses surveyed were busier during the event while 73 per cent attributed the increase in business directly to the festival, its participants and spectators.

Cr Lynch said there were opportunities to "spin off" from the Showjumping Festival.

"I am actively talking with other groups to do something in the New Year to pick up the slack," he said.

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