Chinchilla Campdraft (October 2021)

Campdrafting is a sport that evolved from Australian stockmen who moved mobs of cattle as well as ‘cut out’ selected animals as needed for branding, relocating, etc.

The competitor must select (cut out) a steer from a group in the yards. The selected steer must be blocked and turned by the competitor several times to show their ability to control the animal before calling for the gates to be opened.

The rider must then draft the steer around the pegs in a figure eight course, clockwise around peg 1, anticlockwise around peg 2 and clockwise through the gate to gain a maximum of 100 points (26 cutout /70 horsework /4 course).

Started in 1896, The Chinchilla Campdraft is the most prestigious in Australia. Over 4 days of drafting from 6.30am to 6pm, some of Australia’s best horse and rider combinations compete for more than $150,000 in prizes with a Grandfather Clock going to the winner. This year there were about 600 entrants.

We were expecting crowds of people at such an iconic event but we were the only obvious outsiders there.

Rider and horse controlling the steer
Horsework is a big part of campdraft
It’s a demanding and skilled sport for both rider and horse
White horse chasing down white steer
Taking the steer around the second peg
This horse is working so hard we could hear it grunting
Open Competition – women and men against each other
A mean looking beast under control
Lined up behind the cutout yard, competitors wait their turn
Having selected and cut her steer out of the mob this woman is heading out into the course – with 92 points first round and 89 points on the second round she’s the leader
A video of an 86 point draft – it’s all over in half a minute!