Volunteer Stories – Hobby Horse Fundraiser

Volunteer Stories – Hobby Horse Fundraiser

This ‘Hobby Horse Steeplechase’ idea was submitted by Mary from St Pius X Primary School as a part of our ‘Volunteer Stories’ Series.  We are committed to saving school and club volunteers from having to “reinvent the wheel” all of the time and this series aims to do that by sharing real life stories from other volunteers. If you have an idea to share (good or bad, small or huge), we would be most grateful if you would submit it here.

Organisation: St Pius X Primary

Submitted by: Mary


At our school’s Country Fair we wanted to have some interactive challenges on the day that were in keeping with our country theme. We ran a gumboot throw competition for the children but also wanted something that was a bit of a spectator drawcard for the school parents and local community members who attended.

We saw a post on facebook about hobby horse show jumping and put it out there as a suggestion on our facebook group.  Somewhat surprisingly, there were lots of positive comments – including from the activities co-ordinator (who would end up running it) and those who would be potential victims, um I mean participants.

To make money from the race we auctioned off the jockeys on the stage prior to the race. “Form Guides” were distributed on our facebook page in the days prior to the event. The participants weren’t the usual volunteers that you might get, we had the Principal, P&F President, Treasurer and Secretary, Year 3 Teacher, Year 4 Teacher and a local (very supportive and community focussed) Real Estate Agent.

The winner of the race received a portion of the total auction profits and all successful bidders got to keep the hobby horse (for a bit of a laugh).

With a little bit of creative rule following, our local real estate agent won and was kind enough to donate his winnings (since his staff bought him at the auction) back to the school.

The top 3 things about this idea or event

  1. Inexpensive to run (hobby horses were from K-mart, hurdles from the sports shed, hay bales were part of our theming on the day, one of the parents was the race caller and auctioneer)
  2. The course was placed around the spectator area so everyone got to see part of the race.
  3. Fantastic community builder
    (Cheating was encouraged – there were jockeys subbing out part way through the race for a jockey in better condition, a few well timed nudges, it was all in good fun)

The one thing you would have done differently

Get the race ‘officially’ sponsored next time eg. ABC Realty Handicap and maybe look at doing it as a relay to get more people involved.

Additional Comments

Since it was a bit of a last minute idea we were surprised at raising $480 with our hobby horse fundraiser.  The funds raised will be dependent on who is there on the day (like any auction) and the relationship the jockey has with the school community etc.  We originally thought it might raise $100 to $150 so we were very happy with the result which contributed to our overall fete figures.

St Pius Primary School | Fact File

Number of students/members:

Age range of students/members:
Prep – Year 6

Number of active committee members:

Total fundraising income for the year:

What other fundraising activities do you do throughout the year?

  • Mothers Wine and Cheese Night
  • Dads Bowls Night
  • Mum and Dad day stalls
  • Show bags at sports day carnival (always in ekka week)
  • Movie night in non fete year
  • Christmas stall at Christmas musical with food and novelties
  • Disco
  • Raffles
  • Small change challenge
  • Grant applications

What are the previous purchases you have made with your fundraising proceeds?

  • Building upgrades to school
  • IT for the classrooms

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