Harnessing that feeling

TrotsCountry Cups ambassador Billy Brownless will make a guest appearance at the Horsham Racing Centre on Sunday January 8th 2017 for the gala $70,000 Group 2 Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup race meeting. Brownless will kick the footy and chat with the kids out on the grass track, sign autographs, pose for selfies and give away a number of his signed TrotsCountry footballs.

It’s a great opportunity to round up your friends, family and workmates, pack the picnic hamper, put a few coldies in the esky and get on-course to enjoy a great day out. All the exciting racing is bought right up close on the giant video screen, there’s live music and a host of giveaways & prizes.  Every child at the Trots on Cup Day has the chance to win an Ipad Mini and will also enjoy free sweets and icypoles.

Adults can win a Harness Hot Seat Ride and experience the thrill of a lifetime. Out on the track you share a seat with the starter up on the back of the mobile barrier, get to see the horses and drivers up close in race mode, then feel the ‘G’ forces as the mobile hits top gear and explodes away from the field. Sweepstakes on both the Pacing & Trotting Cups will see two lucky racegoers win a luxury accommodation getaway package.

Your $10 ticket in the Goodform Punters Club comes a free $10 TAB betting voucher for you to invest while you follow the fortunes of the HRV Goodform experts as they “punt the pool” during the afternoon and hopefully return a healthy dividend after the last race. HRV race caller Dan Mielicki has given voice to Trots Interactive, the new virtual reality experience has proved a real hit with racegoers at TrotsCountry Cups this season.

The Virtual Reality headset immerses the viewer in a race type situation. The 360-degree camera allows the viewer to witness the racing action through the eyes of a trots driver from any desired angle. A limited number of umbrella & mini-marquee packages are available by booking with Jo Cross on 0407 871206 or email horsham.harness@bigpond.com

Gates open at 1.00pm and the horse action begins with a heat of the Lattanzio Pony Trots, just before the first of the 8 race TAB program. The Wimmera Mail-Times Horsham Pacing Cup meeting is a fantastic community event that’s not to be missed - HORSHAM IS HOT TO TROT!

Nhill Pinball Museum hitting the target

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The Australian National Pinball Museum has ‘hit the target’ in the township of Nhill.

This newly opened popular attraction is conveniently located adjacent to the Nhill Oasis Motel; so you can spend all day at the interactive museum and then fall asleep in your own comfortable bed only a few steps away! The Australian Pinball Museum (www.pinballmuseum.com.au) is open 11am to 9pm, seven days a week,- making it perfect for a weekend getaway, a relaxing stop after work, and a great place to take a break from travelling. The museum is free to enter with the majority of pinballs costing only a $1 to play,- now isn’t that a cheap way to entertain! It draws a mix of people from all ages, groups and walks of life; including those wanting to relive their youth and those who are into retro gaming. 

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The Australian Pinball Museum is one of the largest public pinball locations in Australia. Currently on display are pinball machines from the past 40 years, with new pinballs constantly being added. Feel like learning the mechanism behind pinball engineering? Well you can at this interactive museum, not only does it contain quality pinball machines that you can actually play, but also amazing autographed pinball artwork, original pinball schematics and other pinball memorabilia. The way this museum has been crafted and put together is like it has been given a little bit of pinball magic.

Some of the featured machines include: Banzai Run, manufactured by Williams in 1988, it is the only pinball machine to feature a full vertical playfield located in the backglass. The rare German model of the KISS pinball, manufactured in 1979 by Bally can also be found here. Newer games are included too, like ACDC Back in Black, manufactured by Stern in 2012 -  featuring entire ACDC songs, this limited edition machine had a production run of only 300 machines and is autographed by the game designer, Steve Ritchie. There is also an XMEN Magneto Pinball, which is also manufactured by Stern in 2012,- this limited edition machine is based on the comics and had a production run of only 250; it is also autographed by its game designer, John Borg. Star Trek is the newest addition to the Pinball Museum arriving only a few days ago - It is interesting to see the changes and improvements of pinball in the modern era. There are also numerous other machines on display including the highly collectable and sought after machines Twilight Zone and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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The concept of an Australian Pinball Museum started back in the 1990’s. The Carter family operated an amusement machine business in Adelaide for a number of years, and when that was sold in the mid 1990’s, the vast majority of the machines were put in storage for the last 20 years.  This explains the pristine condition of a lot of the machines, as some were only on site a few months and have had very little use. The hope has always been that they could be put on display and played again.

Due to a huge cultural phenomenon of guys wanting a ‘mancave’, pinball machines have undergone a massive increase in popularity. In the USA, pinball machines have undergone a resurgence too,- as the Carter’s had noticed on their trips there for another business. So when space recently became available at the Nhill Oasis Motel, it was the perfect time and place to put the Pinball Museum plan into action.

The vast majority of the pinballs at the national pinball museum came from this family business; with many more pinballs still unavailable for public viewing yet. The space being used became available when the Nhill Oasis Motel, a niche ‘Route 66’ type motel, was doing a massive makeover. One of the free spaces at the front of the motel was allocated for the museum and another for a unique display of crystals, minerals, and fossils. The choice to make the museum interactive was an easy one for the owners as it is their belief that “pinballs should not just be hidden away in collections, but actually played and enjoyed”. Future plans for the non-profit Pinball Museum involve further restoration of some older pinballs that are still in storage, so they can be brought across and added to the playable collection, as well as adding more brand new machines. Donations, including any pinball memorabilia, is always appreciated. Space is expected to be an issue in the future, but the current plan involves rotating the pinball displays so that there is a different line up for repeat guests. 

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The staff at the museum are very enthusiastic to share their pinball knowledge,- as they are not just collectors, but have been arcade operators and also avid pinball players for many years.

The Australian Pinball Museum is a great place to stop by and have a lot of fun in Nhill, even if it is just for a 20 minute break, and it’s really easy to find with the life size dinosaur out front! 

More information available from: 
Website:    www.pinballmuseum.com.au
Facebook:    www.facebook.com/PinballMuseum
Twitter:    @PinballMuseumAU
Location:    22 Dimboola Rd (Western Highway), Nhill 3418 (Adjacent to Nhill Oasis Motel)
Cost:    Free Entry

Horsham is gliding on air

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Horsham Flying Club (formally ‘Wimmera Soaring Club’) is the sole club in the Southern Hemisphere selected by the FAI, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, to host a leg of the prestigious International Sailplane Grand Prix event (SGP).  

The Horsham competition, the 8th SPG series, is over seven days from December 14 to 20, 2016, and although restricted to 20 of the world's best competitors is expected to attract many spectators and much international media attention. This event will provide immediate exposure to world class glider racing through GPS tracking and logging devices fed to a moving map display and transmitted via high-speed internet worldwide.

Where this event has been held in Europe, and other countries, it has experienced high visitation levels coupled with very high levels of digital attendance via the live internet broadcast of the races. Horsham and the Wimmera will be showcased during these broadcasts and exposure of the environment will be significant.


Events that led up to hosting this event.

According to club president Arnold Niewand, the club has been trying unsuccessfully to host a major event since 2012.

In 2012, we put in an expression of interest to host the 2014 National Gliding Championships, he said, there were many Gliding clubs across Australia who also tried and we missed out. Early in 2013 we put in an expression of interest in holding the 2015 Junior World Gliding Championships, which were later given to Lake Keepit in NSW.Again, in 2014 we looked at hosting the 2018 Women’s World Gliding Championships, but missed out.

Early in 2016 we decided to bid for the Australian qualifying round of the 8th series of the Sailplane Grand Prix event and by the middle of May we were granted permission.

This did not give us a lot of time to prepare and the pace has been hectic trying to fulfil all the requirements of the International Sailplane Grand Prix organization. With the requirement to transmit in real time the gliders as they race across the Wimmera Plains, we need to provide significant band width and high speed internet.

This coupled with loggers and tracking devices in each glider, has been a challenge but we believe we have all elements covered, Mr Niewand said.

Horsham Flying Club boasts the facilities needed to host an international event. The club has successfully hosted gliding competition events for 50 years and witnessed a steady increase in competition numbers.

In 2015 and again this year, the club hosted the Victorian State Gliding Championships which attracted pilots and support crew from across Australia. This year almost 40 pilots competed for awards. The glider pilots use the sun's energy to manoeuvre a set course which is expected to take about two hours. Pilots will depend mostly on thermals to fly the courses set over the Wimmera plains - and the Grampians, if conditions allow.

Horsham in Victoria's west, has long been recognized as an ideal location for glider flight. Its flat, broadacre farmlands make it a safe area to fly. Horsham Flying Club is the home of the longest continuously run gliding event at the same location in Australia and possibly the world. 

The 2016 FAI Sailplane Grand Prix event will have lasting benefit on the community of Horsham and Horsham Flying Club. The event is expected to attract many people to the Wimmera with pilots, support teams and interested public and media. Horsham Flying Club expects increased membership from the event.  The event will also result in increased utilization of assets and aerodrome infrastructure and increased interest in flying from the Horsham base by glider pilots both in Australia and overseas. 

Indirect benefits will flow to many Horsham businesses in increased economic activity through accommodation, meals, fuel and equipment, as well as increased tourist dollars for the whole region.


The event will result in:  

  • World exposure to the gliding fraternity and beyond.
  • Increased potential membership for the Horsham Flying Club.
  • Attract national gliding participants / clubs to the area as a training camp.
  • Provide opportunities for international tourism in the region.
  • Increase business opportunities for local traders.
  • The event will run for seven consecutive days from December 14 to 20, 2016, with two practise days on December 12 and 13. On the weekend prior to the official event, pilots and crew will arrive in Horsham to rig gliders, conduct site orientation and test type certification/weight requirements.

Public Participation.

The public are encouraged to come out to the Horsham aerodrome to see firsthand some of the world’s best pilots flying in this exciting sport. There will be spectator areas for public viewing of the start and finish of races, as well as wide screen TV sets tuned to the SGP you tube site situated in the Horsham Flying Club hangars.

All races will start and finish over the aerodrome in full view of the public and a public commentary is anticipated.

Horsham Arts Council 50th Anniversary Spectacular

The Horsham Arts Council (HAC) will celebrate its 50th anniversary in style with a show that highlights every musical they have performed over the years.  The variety within the production is enormous with performances from shows including ‘Paint Your Wagon’, ‘Calamity Jane’, ‘Oklahoma’, ‘Les Misérables’, ‘Oliver’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Godspell’ and ‘Grease’ just to name a few.  There should be something for everyone to enjoy.  It will hopefully introduce the audience, young and old, to the wonderful music that exists in musical theatre.

75 Flying Years at the Nhill Airshow

The Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Inc. together with the Nhill Air Show sub-committee and the Nhill community invites everyone to attend the Nhill Air Show 2015.  The Air Show is celebrating 75 years of the RAAF training base at Nhill Aerodrome.  During WWII over 10,000 personnel trained at the base and were welcomed into the Nhill community.  The Air Show will also celebrate the hospitality and innovation both of the 1940’s and the current day.