Through drought and flooding rain, Blue (Graham) Giddens maintained the Booligal Cricket Ground with admirable devotion. Blue’s work meant that, no matter the local conditions, The Booligal Sheep Races were always run on a lush green course. It was fitting that for the 20th anniversary of the sheep races, the Giddens family gathered from near and far to see the Booligal Cricket Ground named in Blues honour.
A record crowd of nearly 750 people enjoyed the event in pleasingly cooler conditions. “We had a number of large groups that we knew would be attending but we were pleasantly surprised at the number of people who turned out today.” said President, Glen Caldow. “This will be our biggest year in terms of both crowd and takings. When we distribute the money from today we will tip over the $200 000 donated to local and national charities” added Mr Caldow.
The winner of the Booligal Cup was Tom McLean, a local who has been trying to win the cup for nearly 13 years. “I had a good feeling when “Sandpaper” won his heat, that I might be in with a chance. I have seriously been entering sheep since I was 9 months old and I am pretty excited to be taking home the cash on my 13th try” said Mr McLean. Most creative name went to the Hicks family with “Shanks for the Memories”. Bondi Babes (aka The Huggins Girls) won their parents a weekend's accommodation at Eagles View B&B with their best dressed sheep - Bondi Lambs.
Other winners on the day included Rick Dobson who took out the senior men’s Booligal Crawl after three years of trying. Rick thanked both his parents and God in his acceptance speech. Sue Hanratty won "Guess the Weight of the Sheep", and Leanne Tessari was the highest bidder for the Renmark House Boat holiday donated by Bob Clampet.
The George Cannon Memorial was awarded to Georgie Neil for her tireless work on the Merchandise stand and the John Blomfield Memorial award for crowd participation went to the Giddens Family.