May 2017
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Active Eden

Campdrafting

Camp Drafting is a unique Australian sport and reported as the fasted growing sport currently in Australia. The sport itself has grown astronomically from its inception in the early 19th Century on the Northern Territory Cattle Runs. The art of "drafting" was used to sort cattle from those requiring branding, to weaners being relocated to other parts of the run, or fats for sale etc. Today the sport of Campdrafting has grown from an informal outback rivalry to an event that includes a range of competitors from amateur to professional stockman, with whole families testing their riding and horse skills against each other and their cattle.

campdrafting

A standard Camp Draft is generally held over a weekend and due to its increasing popularity is more often than not starting on a Friday and finishing late on Sunday afternoon. Most programs consist of 7 different events including Junior, Juveniles, Encouragement section, Maiden, Novice and Open classes. Classes are mostly based on age or rider ability, except the Maiden, Novice and Open which is based on the horses' eligibility due to wins.


The competition sees a rider on horseback "cut out" one beast from the mob of cattle in the yard known as the "camp", block and turn the beast at least two or three times to show the rider has the beast under control. The rider will call for the gates to be open and take the beast out of the yard and through a course around pegs involving right and left hand turns in a figure of eight, before guiding it through two pegs known as "the gate". Up to a total of 100 points are scored by horse and rider, "Cut out" is worth a total of 26 points; horse work up to a further 70 points and 4 points for the course.


As a family we have enjoyed the sport of Camp Drafting since the early 1990's and have seen the rise of the sport from amateur weekend get together to the professional sport it has become today. Throughout our time as competitors of the sport we have enjoyed the laid back nature of the people involved and ongoing friendships we have developed over the past 20 years. Although the sport is now fiercely competitive with top riders travelling from a far, to compete each weekend and good Camp Draft horses now are fetching in excess of $20,000, the relaxed nature of the weekend has not been lost. We feel privileged to be a part of a sport that has allowed us as a family to come together and compete on a regular basis in a family friendly environment. The sport sees competitors ranging in age from twelve years competing against riders up to 80 years of age, a rare occurrence in this day.

The sport encourages people from many different walks of life to come together and compete on an even playing field, no matter your riding background. It has also taken us to some of the most amazing locations our beautiful country has to offer. From the heights of the Snowy Mountains, the ruggedness of the Monaro District, to the lush paddocks of the Gippsland district, out to Tamworth in the heart of the New England North West, right up to the opulent cattle country of the Rockhampton and Warwick regions of Queensland. Most drafts are at least a 3-5 hour drive from this area but we have been known to travel 3-5 days to compete at the top level of the sport.


Two members of our family now help to run our local Camp Draft at Bombala, holding the positions of secretary and vice president on the committee. After a 7 year hiatus, Bombala Camp Draft, required new and interested people to start the draft again and we have been fortunate enough to help with this and put back into the sport that has given us so much over the years.

 

Camp Drafting is a wonderful family friendly sport and we encourage anyone interested to try our exciting sport.