Carriage driven by Murray MacKinnon at Billinudgel.
Carriage driven by Murray MacKinnon at Billinudgel.

Back to horse, cart days

By ROBYN GRAY

For those of us who have a sense of fun, travelling to a party in a horse-drawn carriage could soon become a reality, if the plans of Murray MacKinnon of Mullumbimby work out. Mr MacKinnon has a well schooled pair of Andalusian horses, Titch and Sonia, and a purpose-built carriage with a fringe on top, and he's ready to take to the roads. He's had a few trial runs in Mullumbimby and Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay is in his sights, tales of traffic snarls notwithstanding.

The horses are well used to traffic, having trained and worked in Sydney. The driver, Mr MacKinnon and two footmen (daughter Amanda and son Paul) cut very dashing figures in their costume, alongside the be-ribboned pair. Mr MacKinnon, a former mounted policeman has been riding horses since he was five, and started competing at the Sydney Royal Easter Show when he was seven. In 1988 he competed in the International Law Enforcement Olympics, and in 1993 he became the tent pegging world champion at the International

championships in India, an unusual success in an event traditionally dominated by Indian horsemen. But all of that was a long time ago, although the affinity with his horses is a talent that endures. His quiet words of command are barely necessary as the 'girls' set off, and his hands hold the reins lightly. The carriage will be around town (any town) during the holiday season. Look out for it, but if you miss it and would like to know more about it's itinerary, call Mr MacKinnon on 6684 3347.


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