Grazier from Manilla judges prestigious campdrafting comp
JUDGING the Warwick Gold Cup is not a job Tom Armytage takes lightly. The grazier from Manilla in New South Wales said he thought about it for a week before accepting the job.
“It was a very big honour when I was asked. I didn’t take it lightly, I thought about it for a while,” Mr Armytage said.
“We haven’t been up (to Warwick) for four or five years. We nearly didn’t come because it was dry and we were feeding.
“But I thought they probably wouldn’t ask me again so I had better come and do it for the experience.”
Mr Armytage said he was a bit nervous about judging when the competition first started.
“I was awake pretty early Monday morning,” he said.
“But once we got through the first 50 or so it’s been pretty good. There were 876 competitors. We were doing about 40-45 competitors an hour.” Mr Armytage said he had judged other campdraft competitions around the Tamworth area and knew what he was looking for in the competitors.
“I look for pressure and correctness from the horses and the overall appearance of the run,” he said.
“That the horse isn’t shaking its head or anything.
“And the speed of the run as well.”
Mr Armytage has been competing in campdrafts for 25 years.
“We go to six or eight campdrafts in a normal year,” he said,
“But it’s been so dry in the last 12 months we haven’t been able to go anywhere at all.”
Mr Armytage said his property had received some rain in the past two weeks.
“We have breeders down at Manilla,” he said.
“We’ve had about three inches of rain in the last fortnight. It should be looking pretty good by the time we get home. I’m pretty keen to see what it looks like when we get home on Sunday night.”
GREAT EXPERIENCE: Tom Armytage from Manilla judged the Warwick Gold Cup this year.