AFTER wowing the crowds at last year's Scone Horse Festival, legendary horseman Guy McLean is back by popular demand.
Fresh from performances at the Southern Equine Expo in Tennessee, Horse World Expo Pennsylvania and Equine Affaire in Ohio, McLean will launch the 2019 Scone Horse Festival on Thursday May 2 at White Park.
McLean will showcase his extraordinary ability to bond with horses and will also focus on the versatility of thoroughbreds during his performances.
"I can't wait to head back to Scone. Any town that dedicates a whole week to celebrating horses is a friend of mine," McLean said.
"Scone has a reputation for breeding some of the most beautiful thoroughbreds in the world and I'll be explaining that although they're set up for a racing career, they're no different to a professional footballer who goes on to excel at something else once they've retired," McLean said.
"If you give them the right foundations and a good education, you can set them up for anything.
"I also can't wait to check out the new undercover arena, when I was last in town it was just scaffolding.
"I know it'll be something special and I hope it becomes the epicenter for the town."
Alice Messara of Arrowfield Stud was amongst those awed by McLean's last performance in Scone and had no hesitation when approached to sponsor his return.
"Like everyone who saw him in action I was captivated by Guy last year - his horsemanship has to be seen to be believed," Messara said.
"There's so much respect for thoroughbreds in the Hunter Valley and Arrowfield is keen for the community to see them in a different light.
"We all know what they can do on a racetrack but Guy will be demonstrating how the attributes of the thoroughbred make them perfect candidates for showjumping, dressage, eventing, polo or as a general pleasure mount.
"Guy's show is for everyone, horse lover or not, the way he works is fascinating and we are hoping for a big crowd to come and see Guy work his magic."
Preparations for the Festival have moved into full swing in recent days with an installation by Scone artist Janno McLaughlin in the Campbell's Corner window capturing the attention of many.