Airlie club will farewell founder
A JOURNEY to Airlie Beach for the Great Whitsunday fun race has resulted in a long relationship with the town for Jo Bailey, but now she is bidding the area goodbye after 24 years.
Back in 1983 Jo arrived with her horse and her dog for a two week holiday and realised she liked the place.
It was the horse Jo brought to the area that defined her time here.
She originally kept her horse on the corner of Abel Road.
"A group of kids came to look for help with riding," she said. It wasn't long before Jo joined with Lee-Ann Nuss and Tim McDonald to form the Cannonvalley Pony Club in 1986.
The club was situated on Abel Road, until with the help of councillors Pat Botto and Bill Dinnie, the lease was secured for the club's current location on Turner Road, Riordanvale.
The addition of stables and a club house - which is the former Proserpine bus depot - along with the manicured greenery allow regular competitions to be held at the present day club.
"They are fantastic grounds," Jo said.
She said her favourite aspect of the club was the atmosphere that had developed.
"It's always been a friendly club that's keen to help each other out _ with a very friendly atmosphere," she said.
She is now heading to Bundaberg and semi-retirement.
"I've taught two generations of people at Airlie Beach and it's been great but it's time for a change," she said.
The Cannonvalley Pony Club is having a farewell barbeque for Jo 5pm Friday, April 20, at their Turner Road grounds.