Drafters flock to Powlett River Downs
COMPETITORS travelled for long distances to come to the beautiful property of Allen and Leanne Mitchell for this year’s campdraft at Powlett River Downs.
Committee member Gordon Humphrey took the privilege of judging the first event for the weekend being the ladies.
He had 67 women and their horses front up to him and the nice Hereford weaners that Allen and Leanne had donated for this event, being a shoot out, with only one run each.
The girls gave it their best shot. Jenny Neave and her horse Bonita and Kim Blanch on May were both sitting on an 87, so a run off was called. Jenny and Bonita were able to hold it together to take the blue ribbon.
Next up, Steve Ryder took up the whip to judge the Russell Scott memorial draft.
This draft is run in memory of one of the founding members. His sons were there to be able to watch this draft and present the beautiful whip donated by Russ Bradley and made by Ken Fraser, as well as a rug and $1000 prize money, to the eventual winner (after over 250 runs) Mark Ruff on his horse Martha.
Ken Boulton riding Tina Arena was hot on his heel’s only one point behind, with three other riders coming third, only two points off the lead.
Next up was the Max and Barb Jelbart memorial open draft.
This draft is also in memory of the biggest cattle donors, who supported the event for nearly as long as the draft has been operating.
Mark Ruff took the reins to judge the 140 competitors in this event, using the Jelbart cattle.
Sixteen riders were able to achieve a score of 88 or better to make the final.
Darren Towns on Boss and Evan Hiscock on Nix were hard to separate, both having a score of 180. A run off was had with Darren winning the open with a 267.
With the horses rugged and watered, dinner was supplied by the Dalyston Football Club.
Sunday morning saw a few sore heads, but all emerged to start by 7am with the Vince McRae memorial maiden draft, in memory of one of the first drovers who never competed but would come and move cattle around the property, before cattle had to be trucked in.
Young Evan Hiscock took the job of judging the maid event, and had the riders going threw in about 50 an hour.
Eventually 20 of the 187 were taken into the final. Lincoln Adams riding Dixie was able to clearly win from second place getter Vicki Hiscock taking the red ribbon on her horse my flurry.
Next up Erick Joosten took the whip to judge the up and coming riders in the Under 13.
He was patient and gave the children encouragement.
Angus Edgar on his horse Goose was able to put on a great show, getting a score of 86 to take the blue ribbon from Aalish O’Hara on Claire.
The Under 17s was also judged by Erick Joosten. Nineteen riders fronted up to have their much awaited run.
Rachael Boyce on Heaven ‘n’ Oak put an exceptionally nice run to score an 87 and win the blue ribbon.
Laney Towns on Boss with an 85 came in second, and Sharnie Bechaz was third.
The last event for the weekend was an open event judged by Darren Towns; 140 riders fronted up, with 19 riders making the final on the big cattle.
Ian Henstberger on his horse preacher won with a 177, with Matt Holz on Grace on a 176 coming second and Ken Boulton on Cann I on a 173.
With the event finished and the trucks, cars and floats leaving the ground’s for another year, the hard working committee eventually got to sit back and relax.
The committee thanked all involved in the campdraft, including cattle donors, the Jelbart family, M. Garnham, Alan and Leanne Mitchell, the sponsors, cattle carriers, the caterers, and also all the competitors that took to helping with the side gate and front gate.
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