Vic Summers in his heyday.
Vic Summers in his heyday. Contributed

Veteran axeman is back at Imbil

VETERAN axeman Vic Summers is sharpening up his tools of the trade for another outing at the Mary Valley Country Show on Saturday but his mates are taking bets on whether it will be his last.

Vic made headlines last year when he declared he would hang up his axe at 90, but the media spotlight must have fired up his fighting spirit because he is still shaping up as a contender on the blocks.

He joins some of the sharpest axemen in the country at the Imbil Showgrounds when they compete in the woodchop events at the Mary Valley Country Show.

A highlight this year is the demonstration tree felling event, your only chance to see the axemen perform the exciting section which was dropped from the show program in recent years.

Renowned for its tough rodeo action, the annual show has gained a reputation for excellent prize money in the all-day woodchop, and draws some of the best competitors after they spend a week at the Brisbane Exhibition.

Steward Len Summers said nominations would match last year’s numbers, but the up and coming young blokes could still learn a trick or two from Vic Summers, who has achieved legendary status among the big men as “one of a kind”.

Vic features in the Australian Axeman’s Hall of Fame at Latrobe, Tasmania, where a display records just one of his amazing feats in his preferred event - treefelling - with these words: “He dropped his board from the top of the tree, climbed down and back up again - and still won.”

Vic started woodchopping when he was just nine, and won his first open chop in his early teens. He went on to collect the world treefelling championship eight times among other titles.

There is more than $2000 to be shared in prize money over 12 events at this year’s Imbil show, including the underhand and standing classes.

In preparation for the woodchop, more than 100 blocks of wood have to be collected.

But woodchopping is just one of many attractions at the Mary Valley Country Show, which kicks off at 8am with the maximum points rodeo followed by the woodchop trials and ring events.

The rodeo includes everything from the junior bull ride and barrel race to bucking broncs.

And if you want to have a casual ride, the mechanical bucking bull will be a great chance for amateurs to prove their stuff too.

Visit the show pavilion all day from 9am-4.30pm to see the arts and crafts displays, and children will love side show alley, where there will be plenty of hamburgers, chips, strawberries and cream available. Working dogs, stud cattle and an animal nursery will provide something for everyone.

Stage events include Bob Black and the Dunny Can Band and “Agro”, followed by spectacular fireworks at 7.30pm.

For show and rodeo information contact the secretary on 5481 1709 or check out the website

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