Man who won cup be­fore it be­came gold

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News - John Skin­ner

REG At­thow started three horses in the very first Cat­tle Draft­ing Cham­pi­onship of Aus­tralia at Warwick in 1929 and placed first, sec­ond and equal third.

This event was to be­come the Warwick Gold Cup in 1931 when the Gov­er­nor of Queens­land, Sir John Good­win, at­tended the event at Warwick and in his hon­our, the com­mit­tee de­cided to award the win­ner a gold cup.

The pre­vi­ous win­ners, Reg At­thow (1929) and Les Lord 1(930), were both later pre­sented gold cups.

A renowned horse­man who had al­ready won a num­ber of cat­tle draft­ing com­pe­ti­tions, Reg was at the time the Aus­tralian cham­pion, hav­ing won the ti­tle at Bun­damba, Queens­land, only six weeks be­fore.

It ap­pears from the records many events ti­tled them­selves as Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onships but the Bun­damba event did have some sta­tus among the horse­men of the time.

Reg won the event in Warwick on Mirth, placed sec­ond on Lau­rie, the horse he’d won on at Bun­damba, and was equal third on Brown­lock (owned at the time by D.D. Lo­gan) with Mr J.F. Bur­nett on Gift.

In­ter­est­ingly, Tom Co­p­ley won the Warwick Gold Cup on the very same Brown­lock in

1931 and 1936 after hav­ing pur­chased the horse from Mr Lo­gan. Brown­lock again won the Warwick Gold Cup in

1932, this time owned and rid­den by Myles Mac­Don­ald.

A sec­ond in­ter­est­ing point is that Reg At­thow’s great-great-grand­daugh­ter, Holly Daw­son, will be judg­ing the Ladies Sil­ver Cup Cam­p­draft in Warwick this year.

Reg At­thow was born in Kil­coy in 1888 and was be­lieved to be the first white child to be born in that dis­trict. His fam­ily were pi­o­neers in the Bris­bane Val­ley and were al­ways in­volved with cat­tle.

Horses were a way of life as Reg grew and com­pet­ing in rid­ing com­pe­ti­tions came eas­ily to the young man.

Cat­tle draft­ing, later to be­come known as cam­p­draft­ing, was a new sport which was ex­pand­ing through­out Queens­land and his fam­ily be­lieve Reg had his first start at Kil­coy in 1908 (aged 20) on a horse named Gold­stream.

One re­ally suc­cess­ful horse Reg rode was Jock and the pair went on to be­come the first re­ally well known com­bi­na­tion of horse and rider, win­ning an unprecedented num­ber of cam­p­drafts.

Part of this fame came from win­ning the Stan­ley Dal­las Cup at Esk 10 years in a row from 1919. Jock was re­tired be­fore Reg came to Warwick in 1929.

Fam­ily records show Reg and Jock won 20 drafts, four sec­onds and three thirds in eight years and were un­placed only once, for a to­tal of £1250


In about 1920, the At­thow fam­ily dis­persed their busi­ness and held a dis­per­sal sale at the home­stead yards of 7000 one-brand here­ford cat­tle.

Reg, then aged 32, went his own way and pur­chased Avoca at Linville. Twelve years later he moved again and bought Oak­wood, Kan­danga, be­fore re­tir­ing to Bris­bane in the


Reg bred and trained all his own horses after Jock and his suc­cess­ful com­pe­ti­tion horses were out of Taun­ton Sta­tion mares, which were by Flag­ship, a three-time Mel­bourne Cup starter.

The Warwick win­ner, Mirth, was a lovely chest­nut baldy mare with abil­ity to match her ap­pear­ance. Reg cam­paigned her for seven years in which time she won 10 drafts, five sec­onds and a third for a to­tal of £341 ($682).

Reg At­thow be­came a reg­u­lar at Warwick, plac­ing third on Lau­rie in 1930, fourth again on Lau­rie in 1931, win­ning the Gold Cup in 1933 on Lau­rie and plac­ing sec­ond on Mirth.

He was back again in 1934, plac­ing sec­ond on Lau­rie, again in 1937, plac­ing fourth on Pi­ety, win­ning the novice draft on Pi­ety in 1938 and in 1941 he placed equal third, again on Pi­ety.

Due to World War II, the Warwick Rodeo didn’t re­turn un­til 1946, by which time Reg had re­tired from com­pe­ti­tion.

Truly one of the greats in the early days of cam­p­draft­ing, Reg At­thow holds a spe­cial place in the sport’s his­tory.


CAM­P­DRAFT: Reg At­thow and Mirth, win­ners of the 1929 Cat­tle Draft­ing Cham­pi­onships of Aus­tralia, later to be­come the Warwick Gold Cup.

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