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.