Dust was flying and crowds were cheering at the first annual Moorngag Mower Mania on Saturday, which was the highlight of the Benalla Festival for many.
Organiser Andrew Lavis said the event attracted more than 800 spectators and more than 36 racers, including State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan who insisted on having a go.
‘‘We really didn’t know what to expect, and we were absolutely delighted with how it went,’’ Mr Lavis said.
‘‘We had people come from Canberra, people from Wagga, a lot of people travelled a distance to be part of the races.
‘‘Steph Ryan asked if she could have a go and they got her a vehicle to race against one of our competitors.
‘‘She’s not shy, she absolutely gave it 100 per cent. She came out covered in mud, and she loved it, she was absolutely ecstatic.’’
Ms Ryan described the Moorngag mower races as a ripper of an event.
‘‘The money spent on the day will help keep community assets in small districts like the hall at Moorngag alive,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘The opportunity to draw a crowd and show off some of our smaller communities is one of the things I love about the Benalla Festival.
‘‘I ended up covered in mud and my white shirt was short lived, but like most people I had a blast and I can now tick racing lawn mowers off my bucket list.
‘‘I’d like to commend everyone involved in organising the day.
‘‘A huge amount of work was put in by volunteers to get it off the ground, but it would be great to see it become an annual event on the Moorngag calendar.’’
Benalla Mayor Don firth also came out to the event before the parade and welcomed the competitors and spectators alike.
The event is now scheduled to be a facet of next year’s Benalla Festival and in 2018 it could be even bigger and better as sponsors have come forward to be a part of it.