The 15th Deniliquin Ute Muster has broken both world records after it was revealed they miscounted the utes in 2010.By Zoe McMaugh
Remarkably, a miscount of utes in 2010 means the Deniliquin Ute Muster broke both world records at its 15th anniversary event on Saturday.
Play on the Plains Festival Committee chairman Harold Clapham told the Pastoral Times on Sunday that some of the 2010 count sheets had been accidentally counted twice.
The figure announced and publicised for the last three years, up until Saturday night when the ‘‘mistake’’ was announced to the crowd, was 10,152 utes counted.
Mr Clapham said a review of the records revealed the official count was 8,152.
This year’s official figure is 9,736 utes from an estimated Ute Muster crowd of around 20,000 people.
‘‘We went back through and checked all the records, including the singlet records, and we found an anomaly with the count in 2010.
‘‘Simply, we overstated the number of utes.
‘‘What people have to realise is that the count is undertaken by volunteers and what happened in 2010 is that we were at a level none of us had previously experienced.
‘‘When we went back and checked we found that it was a mistake.
‘‘I’m not making excuses, it was just a very difficult thing (the count).
‘‘The report back was incorrect because we discovered that some (count) sheets were double counted.’’
Mr Clapham said despite the miscount, the 2010 Ute Muster was still a record-breaking event.
The correct count of 8,152 utes still beat the last official world record of 7,242 set in 2008.
There was no official world record count in 2009, but organisers estimated about 7000 utes.
The 8,152 count was still the highest since 2010 before being smashed on Saturday.
In 2011 the count was 6,998 utes and last year there were 5,015 utes mustered.
Mr Clapham said the miscount aside, breaking the official record this year was exciting.
Ute Muster fans also helped smash the World Record Blue Singlet Count.
The previous record of 3,500 blueys mustered was from 2010, and was beaten by more than 300 people.
Muster organisers had to move the barriers to make the arena bigger to be able to fit the 3,924 people wearing blueys inside, including a couple of month-old babies.
Mr Clapham said the entire weekend was a great success.
He particularly praised the idea of having celebrity ambassadors for the event, including his own daughter Emma Clapham who now works in public relations in Melbourne and her partner, Geelong football star and Finley boy Tom Hawkins.
Also helping to promote this year’s event were football legend and media personality Billy Brownless, Olympic swimmers Melanie Schlanger and Chris Wright and founding committee member and former festival director Kate Pitt.
‘‘We will look back and say how great it was to get the ambassadors and have them promoting our event.
‘‘I think this year was one of the happiest years.
‘‘At 1am Sunday, when I was speaking to our medical staff, there had not been one violence related incident (that they knew of).’’
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