Home Hill Cam­p­draft teams muster Fast work for cat­tle hands

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - JOHN AN­DER­SEN

ALL the crack hands gath­ered to help with the mus­ter­ing and draft­ing of more than 1000 head of cat­tle for the Home Hill Cam­p­draft this week­end.

On Thurs­day at Lan­ders Creek Sta­tion near Mil­la­roo, where the cam­p­draft is be­ing held, he­li­copter pi­lot John Ah­ern was mus­ter­ing cat­tle in from the Le­ich­hardt Range.

Just 20km away in the same ranges some­thing sim­i­lar was happening on the Wil­liams’ fam­ily’s Hills­bor­ough Sta­tion. Cat­tle had been mus­tered and were be­ing drafted in the Hills­bor­ough stock­yards for truck­ing to Lan­ders Creek.

In the past the cat­tle have been walked from Hills­bor­ough to Lan­ders Creek. It’s a two- day drov­ing trip, but this year with time at a pre­mium the cat­tle were put on trucks.

The cam­p­draft was orig­i­nally sched­uled for May. The cat­tle had been yarded and ev­ery­thing was ready to go, but then heavy rain ar­rived. The or­gan­is­ers were left with no op­tion but to can­cel.

“We had to change the date be­cause it was too wet in May,” com­mit­tee mem­ber Stephanie Tude­hope said.

It meant clash­ing with the Ing­ham cam­p­draft which is on this week­end.

“We couldn’t do any­thing about the clash. We re­ally tried not to go the same date as Ing­ham, but there were no other times.”

Com­peti­tors started ar­riv­ing at Lan­ders Creek with their trucks and horses mid- week. Among them were Ross and Ch­eryl Mills from Ar­mi­dale in NSW’s New Eng­land Table­land district. They are on a “cam­p­draft­ing hol­i­day”, but con­fess that their Queens­land ex­cur­sion is also an es­cape from the bit­ter New Eng­land cold.

“It’s get­ting down to - 8C down there. It’s beau­ti­ful weather up here,” Ms Mill said.

They have al­ready com­peted at the Powlathanga Cam­p­draft west of Char­ters Tow­ers, and at the Gold City Char­ters Tow­ers Cam­p­draft, and at Bowen River near Collinsville. Af­ter the Home Hill Cam­p­draft they will travel to Cen­tral Queens­land to com­pete at the Par­adise La­goons event and from there they plan to head home to Ar­mi­dale via the Narrabri cam­p­draft.

“We’ve been do­ing a cam­p­draft ev­ery week­end,” Mr Mills said.

The cam­p­draft, held un­der the Aus­tralian Cam­p­draft As­so­ci­a­tion Inc ban­ner, started yes­ter­day and ends to­mor­row.

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