The major draw card for Corrigin is the annual “Dog in a Ute” event, a very typical Aussie thing. Each year Corrigin and the rival state of Victoria battle it out to break the world record for how many “dogs in utes” they can parade through the town. The idea of the event is to raise money for charities and their local community. Each ute (Australian slang for utility truck) requires a dog to compete.
History of Dogs In Utes
The first “Dog in a Ute” event was held in 1997 at St Arnaud in Victoria where they officially recorded 214 dogs in utes. The following year the record was broken at the rural town of Terang, also in Victoria, with 325 dogs in utes. The local Corrigin Apex President, Mr Bob Cooper, was instrumental in bringing the event to his local community in Western Australia. Inspired by having seen how many people the event was attracting to rural Victorian towns.
With overwhelming support from the town, the first Corrigin “Dog in a Ute” event was held on the 31st of October 1998. In its first attempt, Corrigin smashed the “world record” by attracting 699 dogs in utes. By days end over 3,000 people had poured into the town and they had raised over $20,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service. So began the battle between the two States.
Corrigin has held the current World Record since 2002 with 1,527. As you drive through the district you can spot old utes placed in unusual locations in fields proudly advertising the event and their feats. A dedicated website to the “Dog in a Ute” festival gives detailed information about the event.