At just 15 km long this outback highway is probably one of the shortest there is, but this is more than made up for with the colour, interest, ingenuity and creativity that lines the way on both sides of the road.
Out here in the vibrant wheat belt area at Kulin, just under 300 km south-east of Perth, the town’s popular bush race meeting held at the beginning of October each year, has brought out an unexpected creative talent in the locals living along the road leading to the race course.
With the race track located 15 km east of town in a picturesque setting near Jilakin Rock (a huge granite outcrop overlooking the track) and alongside Lake Jilakin, a natural salt lake which is especially appealing when full of water – usually around race time after normal winter rains. It is, indeed, a splendid setting for the annual event that usually attracts around 4,000 visitors for this action-packed bush event.
With a view to promoting their beloved races, Kulin resident Mary Lucchesi, a number of years ago, started to enthusiastically encourage local farmers to build horse statues in their paddocks en-route to the track. Mary had seen the interest that scarecrows had brought to the southwest town of Ballingup and thought the concept was worth a go here in Kulin. Records show that Anne-Marie Carmody and Serge Lucchesi built the first couple of ‘horses’ and from there it seems everyone suddenly had a tin horse idea and got to work in friendly rivalry to try and outdo their neighbours.
Creative works of ‘horse-art’ were soon beginning to appear in a quirky open-air gallery on either side of the road en-route to the track.