CQ rider takes out Warwick Gold Cup for second time
FOR 30 years, Steve Comiskey has been hitting the campdraft circuit and taking out wins across the state.
His most recent, the 2018 Pryde’s EasiFeed Gold Cup in Warwick, is the most prestigious title in Australian campdrafting.
The rider from Capella, Central Queensland, first attended the event when he was just six years old.
This year marked the second time Comiskey has taken out the illustrious title after winning in 2009 and placing second in 2015. For the second successive year, he was in a run-off. He ended up third last year.
At the end of the final, he had 268 on Broomfield Stylish Diamond, the same score as Wee Waa rider Sam Knight on O’Lara.
In the run-off, Knight was first in camp but his beast proved troublesome on course and he finished with a cut-out score only.
Comiskey could have been tempted to take it easy in his run as he had to only record a score on the course to win.
He did more than that, recording 91, a score as good as any in the competition.
“It definitely puts a smile on your face,” he said.
“I wasn’t too nervous, the worst outcome was second.
“I was pretty happy with the win.”
Comiskey said they had already been on the road for a few weeks before the event, which helped prepare for the renowned draft in Warwick.
“It’s like a bit of a holiday for us,” he said.
“We were at Condamine for a few days and then at Chinchilla for a week.
“I wasn’t feeling too confident going into Warwick because I didn’t do that well in the other two.”
He said there were three things he loved most about the sport.
“We love the country people, the horses and the cattle,” he said.
“We do roughly 20 campdrafts a year, it’s always good to catch up with a lot of our good friends.”
The Comiskey name is renowned in the horse sport, with his older brother Pete another top competitor at the events. Steve said his big brother was one of his greatest influences.
“We’re always trying to beat each other,” he said.
“We’re good mates, we’re always talking about campdrafting, whether it’s how to control the horse or chase cattle.”
With many years of experience under his belt, Steve runs clinics to help others improve their drafting skills.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to help people out, most of them get a lot out of the clinics and are keen but don’t get to do a lot of stock work like they did years ago,” he said.
Steve met his wife Louise at the Capella Campdraft in
2000 and their passion for the sport has been passed down to their daughters, Darcy-Rose and Lilly-Lou.
“They don’t do as many as we do but they love competing in the minis,” he said.
For Steve, home is his
16,966ha property, Lyra Park, near Capella, where he runs a commercial santa gertrudis operation.
“We’ve got to get our jobs done within three or four days before we head off to a draft,” he said.
“But they usually only go for two to three days.”
He said he’d noticed in recent years the events had been getting bigger.
“It’s harder to get into them now,” he said.
“I think it’s because it’s a good family sport and everyone can have a go.”
While winning the Warwick Gold Cup twice is a highlight for Steve, he said there were many wins that stood out.
“One of them was winning the Graeme Acton Memorial Draft a few years ago and the Grandfather Clock last year at Chinchilla,” he said.
WINNING RUN: Steve Comiskey scores 91 in a run-off to win the Pryde’s EasiFeed Warwick Gold Cup Campdraft at the Warwick Showgrounds.