It comes down to luck and skill in the cam­p­draft­ing arena

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - PORK -

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.

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.

“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.

Kim­ber­ley Sam­mon took out the Ladies’ Sil­ver Cup at the end of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Grafton’s Heidi Gil­lett got a score of 93 in the first round of the War­wick Ladies’ Sil­ver Cup Cam­p­draft.

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