THE Upper Hunter’s first undercover multi-purpose arena fulfilled its purpose on Saturday night as the sky opened and rain fell at its official opening.
However, there was no need for umbrellas with crowds at White Park staying dry in the grandstand seating as they watched an exciting display of equine disciplines and a live music performance.
The arena was officially opened by New England MP Barnaby Joyce and Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen, with money pitched in from local, state and federal governments to fund the facility.
The ribbon was officially cut by Dr Judy White AM of Belltrees who said it was "a huge honour".
"On behalf of all the White family I say thank you for giving me the honour of cutting the ribbon here today for this sensational new arena," Dr White said.
Offical guests Upper Hunter Shire councillor Lee Watts and Mayor Wayne Bedggood spoke of the many years of hard work and decisions that had gone in to see the arena finalised.
"The new arena has been a talking point and on the wish list for Scone for so long that I can't count the years," Mrs Watts said.
"This is Stage One and it will attract thousands of people from the many equine disciplines in this area and further afield.
"But this arena is more than that - it can be used for music, sporting and community events and there is still more to come as a work in progress."
Following the offical ribbon cutting were equestrian demonstrations from the Scone Pony Club, Upper Hunter Dressage Association Inc, Upper Hunter Team Penning, Hunter Valley Cutting Horse Club and High Velocity Trick Riding.
To wrap up the night, there was a live concert by Damien Leith and special guests including Charlotte Rhian and Mark Gable from the Choirboys.
Local community groups such as Lions, Rotary and Scone Public School also pitched in to help with food and the smooth running of the event.