It’s luck and skill
An exciting campdraft competition
AFTER campdrafting for more than 25 years, Kellie Bond doesn’t get nervous before a competition.
Rural Weekly caught up with Mrs Bond after her run in the first round of the Warwick Ladies’ Silver Cup Campdraft, in which she scored an 88.
She also scored a 91 in the Canning Downs Campdraft.
“I won an Australian title in
2008 – I was Australian Champion Lady Rider,” Mrs Bond said.
“I was runner-up here in the ladies last year, I’ve been runner-up on two occasions.
“I’ve made a Gold Cup final and a Canning Downs final and got ribbons in them but never won.”
Mrs Bond said with almost
900 competitors in the Gold Cup, just making the final is a great accolade.
Mrs Bond and her husband, Cameron, own Kenmore Lodge thoroughbred stud in Wyreema.
She said she got more nervous about selling her thoroughbreds than competing in campdrafts.
“I don’t get too nervous,” she said.
“Cameron and I sell thoroughbreds for a living so we’re used to pretty high-pressure sport.
“We sell most of our horses at Magic Millions and I do get pretty nervous before that.
“But this is a hobby to us. So I don’t get that nervous, I just try and enjoy it.”
Mrs Bond has been campdrafting since she was
12 and her experience has lead her to be a judge in the Warwick campdraft competition.
“In the cut-out yard you select a beast and hold it away from the mob of cattle and you get a score for that,” she said.
“Then outside there’s a score for each peg and a horse work score. So it’s all accumulative and the total score is 100.
“I like a horse that really volunteers and enjoys it. Plus the speed and control – to control your beast tight around the pegs. And the smoothness of the run.”
Mrs Bond said she and her family had always been involved with horses.
“I grew up on a cattle property and I’ve always been around horses somewhere,” she said.
“My brother, Cameron Webster, is actually leading the Australian saddle bronc title. My husband is a former Australian champion bronc rider.”
Mrs Bond said campdrafting involved a bit of luck.
“It’s a great equaliser, this sport,” she said.
“The best person can have no luck because the beast plays such a big part.
“The good competitors make a lot of their own luck but you can’t help a bad cow. That’s just the long and short of it.”
Grafton competitor Heidi Gillett got an amazing score of 93 in her run in the first round of the Ladies’ Silver Cup.
“I’m very excited,” Mrs Gillett said.
“On the same mare we had an 86 in the Gold Cup as well.
“I’ve never made a final here so I’m excited.
“I’ve been campdrafting for about seven years but I’ve been riding all my life.”
Mrs Gillett got into campdrafting through her husband, David, whom she met at the Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft. PHOTOS: CASSANDRA GLOVER
“My husband, David, got me into it – he’s won a Warwick Gold Cup,” Mrs Gillett said.
“When I met David I was barrel racing.
“So every year we come up here. We love coming up to Warwick.”
Mrs Gillett said her husband wasn’t competing this year.
“My husband still competes but unfortunately he’s not here at the moment,” she said.
“He’s had a bad accident and fractured his ankle.
“So he’s been watching it on the live screens.”
Mrs Gillett said her sister, Lou Lou Merritt, was also competing.
“She just had a run in the ladies, she’s only 18,” Mrs Gillett said.
“This is her second year competing in the ladies.
“We’re a bit of a team, we all like to have a go.”
Mrs Gillett said she felt lucky to have gotten the right beast for her run.
“I love my horses and you get out what you put in,” she said.
“You get lucky with the right beast. That’s half of it really. It’s a bit of luck mixed with skill.”
Kimberley Sammon took out the Ladies’ Silver Cup at the end of the competition.
❝ You get lucky with the right beast. That’s half of it really.
— Heidi Gillett
TREMENDOUS TALENT: Kellie Bond has been competing in campdrafts since she was 12 and has even been a judge at the Warwick Campdraft.
Heidi Gillett got a score of 93 in the first round of the Warwick Ladies’ Silver Cup Campdraft.