An impressive 580 runs were conducted at Wilby Campdraft over the weekend.
With the popularity of Campdrafting on the rise competitors flocked from far and wide meaning entries at Wilby were very quickly filled.
It is a sport for the whole family with competition events including sections for open, mixed, ladies, maiden, novice, juvenile (13 to 17 years of age) and junior (8 to 12).
Around 300 competitors and their horses came from as far away as South Gippsland, Hay, Henty, Tallangatta and Alexandra as well as closer areas like Strathmerton and Everton to mention a few. Huge gooseneck trucks are used nowadays to transport the horses in comfort and provide caravan style accommodation for the whole family. Wilby Reserve becomes a mini village whilst the Campdraft is in progress.
Campdrafting originated in Australia and has been in existence since the 19th century. It involves a horse and rider working cattle, separating one beast, cutting it out of the camp or yard into the arena where they need to guide it around a series of markers. At the same time they are working against the clock and must complete the manoeuvre within 40 seconds.
There is a certain amount of luck in selecting a beast to cut out. Finding a nice quiet but alert beast that will move and run for the rider and the horse will get a good score.
Even an experienced campdrafter can pick a dud and hear that whip crack to signal the end of their turn before the course has been completed.
Late on Sunday afternoon one of the cattle did not behave well and decided to jump the fence. This led the stock riders on a merry chase around the Wilby Reserve and even out onto the road. Skilled in controlling cattle they took a small herd out to the runaway to bring the rogue back with no injuries to man or beast.
The tireless team from Wilby Campdraft Club runs a very well organised event and the marvellous caterers serve up excellent tucker from dawn till after dusk each day. Following a delicious two course dinner on Saturday night the visitors danced the very balmy night away under the stars.
The Wilby Campdraft is held annually and this year a special ‘Women in Campdrafting’ event is planned. For information about the event contact Lauren on 0419605849.