Grab your hat, your cowboy boots and head out to Chinchilla this month for the annual Grandfather Clock Campdraft. Every year people travel vast distances all over the country to meet and compete in this thrilling contest that’s unique to Australia. This year marks the 120th anniversary of Chinchilla’s rich history with this rural Aussie sport.
The Chinchilla Grandfather Clock Campdraft is one of the most prestigious campdrafts in Australia and is one of the 'big three' that make up the Triple Crown series of campdrafts in October. This year the event will be held from 20 – 23 October at the Showgrounds.
The four-day event will attract some of the best horses and competitors there is, all vying for over $60,000 in prize money and a shot at the $30,000 Triple Crown. The Grandfather Clock trophy was first donated almost 50 years ago, and the social, cultural and historical significance of the Chinchilla Grandfather Clock Campdraft is second to none.
In 2016, with an anticipated 300 plus competitors, along with their families and spectators, more than 1000 people are expected to pass through the gates. To make sure you are part of all the action in Chinchilla during the campdraft weekend book your room at Kings Park Accommodation today. You don't want to miss out on watching the best of the best trying to stake their claim on the Chinchilla Grandfather Clock!
So what exactly is campdrafting?*
The sport of Campdrafting in Australia was born in the bush. Men of the country pitted their riding skills and horseflesh against one another as entertainment in harsh conditions. Stock "camped" for the night, were "drafted" to demonstrate who was the superior horseman and who had the best horses. From this simple beginning, the uniquely Australian sport of "Campdrafting" developed.
Today, Campdrafting involves a mounted rider riding into a "camp" (corral or yard) which has six to eight head of cattle in it. The rider (cuts out) one steer or heifer from the cattle in the camp and brings that beast to the front of the camp and block and turns that beast at least two or three times to prove to the judge that they have the beast under control. The rider then calls for the gates to be opened. The cut out is worth a total of 26 points.
The rider then proceeds to draft (work) the beast around a figure of eight in a larger arena.
Generally, the course is set to the left and once the beast has gone around the left peg, it must then be drafted around a peg on the right.
Once that is completed, the rider then guides the steer through the "gate" which is two pegs placed apart.
Once gated, the campdraft is complete and the rider can be awarded up to a total of 100 points. Points are awarded for horsemanship and control of the beast... within set time limits (usually 45-47 seconds).
*Information provided by Australian Campdrafting Association