22nd - 25th February 2018
Website design by Susan Chacksfield um | Sed vulputate
King of the Ranges Stockman’s Challenge Inc.
Inspired by the legendary Archie “Bung” McInnes
A Brief History
In 2001 some local stockmen competed in the Snowy River Challenge at Corryong in Victoria. Talks by a campfire during that event soon became centred round the idea of starting something similar in the Upper Hunter.
Initially garnering support was difficult, but finally at the end of 2002 Earl Kelaher the Mayor of Murrurundi Shire (later to be part of Upper Hunter Shire) offered the Rosedale Horse Complex as a possible venue - and so it began - what has now become one of the premier Stockmen’s Challenges in Australia was underway!
During those early discussions a skilled stockman from the early 1900’s named Bung McInnes was mentioned, being known as “King of the Ranges” when working round Moonan and the Barrington Tops. So there it was…..Corryong had The Man from Snowy River and now Murrurundi had the King of the Ranges!
The King of the Ranges Stockmen’s Challenge & Bush Festival was named a NSW Regional Flagship Event in 2013 and recently won the NSW Regional Achievement Award for Events & Tourism. Each May visitors and competitors travel to Murrurundi from all parts of Australia. That early dream certainly became a wonderful reality!
Archie “BUNG” McInnes
The inspiration for the Challenge, Arch has been described as ”a character of bygone years, a champion buckjumper, a true blue bushman and just a good fellow”.
Known throughout the Hunter Valley as the “King of the Ranges” for his hazardous work as a stockman on the spurs and in the ranges, Arch joined the 1st Battalion Light Horse at the outbreak of World War One and fought in the desert campaign, was wounded, and decorated with the Military Medal. After the war he continued his life as a stockman and champion buckjumper. He died in 1940 exactly as he had wished “with my boots on and in the saddle”.
Arch was a true bush legend and his spirit lives on in this iconic Australian Event.