Man who won cup before it became gold
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.