Best of the best to sad­dle up


EX­CITE­MENT to get the heart rac­ing is on the way, as the Chin­chilla Grand­fa­ther Clock Cam­p­draft draws closer.

This year’s draft will be from Wed­nes­day, Oc­to­ber 17, to Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 20, at the Chin­chilla Show­grounds.

For any novices, cam­p­draft­ing is a unique Aus­tralian sport with a rich his­tory in Chin­chilla span­ning 122 years.

It in­volves a horse and rider work­ing cat­tle.

To­day the Clock Cam­p­draft is recog­nised as one of the most pres­ti­gious in Aus­tralia with com­peti­tors from across the na­tion vy­ing for the pres­ti­gious grand­fa­ther clock tro­phy.

Along­side Con­damine and War­wick, it is one of the “big three” that make up the Triple Crown series of cam­p­drafts in Oc­to­ber.

Chin­chilla Cam­p­draft Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Greg Lith­gow said the event never failed to at­tract the coun­try’s finest.

“For any vis­i­tors or lo­cals who come along, it’s re­ally a chance to see the best of the best cam­p­drafters in Aus­tralia come here and com­pete,” Mr Lith­gow said.

“It’s re­ally for those that are in­ter­ested in good horses and good riders.”

Two-hun­dred and fifty elite cam­p­drafters will take to the ring each day from 5.30am with novice, open, re­stricted and ladies com­pe­ti­tion run­ning un­til dark.

This year’s ladies draft will have riders com­pet­ing on Fri­day and Satur­day to take home the beau­ti­ful Grand­mother Clock tro­phy.

“Most of the com­peti­tors aren’t com­pet­ing for the sake of the gen­eral pub­lic, they are com­pet­ing for the prize money and the

hon­our,” Mr Lith­gow said.

Spec­ta­tors are wel­come to get in on the ac­tion too and take part in the va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties hosted by the com­mit­tee.

Fri­day night will boast live en­ter­tain­ment and a char­ity auc­tion of a CAN-AM quad bike at 7.30pm.

Pro­ceeds from the auc­tion will be do­nated four ways with the re­cip­i­ents Black Dog, De­men­tia Aus­tralia, Care­flight and Drought An­gels.

“There will also be a me­chan­i­cal buck­ing bull go­ing for $2 per en­try which will be do­nated to char­ity,” Mr Lith­gow said.

“It should be fun, we of­ten get fam­i­lies, lo­cals and horse own­ers fill­ing up the crowds,” he said.

The fi­nals of the novice, ladies and open drafts will be on Satur­day from noon, fol­lowed by the fi­nals pre­sen­ta­tion. There will also be en­ter­tain­ment and a col­lec­tion of food and trade stalls. Mr Lith­gow said de­spite the ex­cite­ment, drought con­di­tions had made the cam­p­draft hard to bring to­gether this year.

“We needed about 2000 head of cat­tle to run the event this year,” he said.

“It has been tough to find cat­tle this year with the dry weather.

“It’s been the hard­est in this type of sea­son be­cause many peo­ple don’t want to let their cat­tle be chased and knocked about.”

De­spite the plan­ning strug­gles, Mr Lith­gow said the cam­p­draft was guar­an­teed to be en­ter­tain­ing.

“You al­ways hear the fam­i­lies and sup­port­ers cheer­ing through­out the day,” he said.

“Once you get into the fi­nals there is a fair bit of ex­cite­ment and hype go­ing on. It gets pretty fast paced, the riders tend to run be­tween 45 to 50 an hour.”

The com­mit­tee mem­bers wanted to thank their var­i­ous spon­sors who had con­trib­uted to the cam­p­draft prepa­ra­tion.

❝ it’s... a chance to see the best of the best cam­p­drafters in Aus­tralia

— Greg Lith­gow


GET READY: Some fast-paced cam­p­draft­ing ac­tion is guar­an­teed at the com­ing Grand­fa­ther Clock Cam­p­draft.

Com­peti­tors will vie for a pres­ti­gious grand­fa­ther clock tro­phy, as was done in 2015.


ROUND THE BEND: Com­peti­tors will travel from far and be­yond to take part.

Kim­berly John­son go­ing hard at the Chin­chilla Grand­fa­ther Clock Open Cam­p­draft in 2016.

Court­ney Ram­sey and Tanya White en­joyed the 2016 cam­p­draft.

Thrilling ac­tion to come.

Annabel and Pippa Raynolds with Shan­nyn Rum­me­nie prove the event is for the whole fam­ily.

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