Host: Farrcombe Contracting
Written by Raine Pugh – Owner, Farrcombe Contracting.
Campdrafting is a great outlet for us, it’s a way to socialise, be competitive on a sporting level, and be involved in community events.
Campdrafting is a popular sport up here. Owners, managers, ringers, and townies alike get together to have a yarn, a beer, and bragging rights should some prize money be acquired.
Potter and I are members of the Northern Territory Australian Stockhorse Society. Potter is the president, while I am the secretary. The society organises several stockhorse related events each year (campdrafts, youth camps, judging clinics, annual awards dinner). We play a big part of the Katherine ASHS Campdraft every year. Not only is Farrcombe Contracting a major sponsor, but this year Potter spent a week with other committee members preparing the arena and grounds in preparation for the event. Prior to the event we are also involved in seeking the donation of cattle, sorting sponsorship, and organising volunteers. This year during the Katherine ASHS Draft our crew worked the backyards, sending cattle into the ‘camp’ for each competitor, while Potter and I slotted in wherever we were needed at the time (front gate, water truck, backyards, cleaning toilets etc).
Although we are happy to assist in the organising and running of the draft, we need a week to recover afterwards. Being on a committee makes you appreciate the effort that each campdraft committee goes to in order to organise and run such an event. Most of the people on these committees already own/run cattle stations and have a hectic lifestyle already organising their mustering programs.
On top of all the planning, organising, running, and clean up – Potter and I also like to compete. We are not so good at sharing horses and therefore each have our own horses in order to keep peace with each other. This year Potter was competing in the Open event (highest level of Campdrafting) on his Open mare (highest status of horse in campdrafting). Potter and Harmony were last out due to him devoting his time to helping out on the front gate, he had a camp of tough cattle and then ran a score of 90. Both of us were elated at their efforts and were excited at his position going into the finals. 20 minutes later after Potter had hosed down and put Harmony away in our yard, he returned once again to volunteer for the front gate for the next event. 10 minutes into the program, one of the competitors was running a beast (name given to weaner sized animal you chase around the course) outside when the animal decided to attempt to travel back into the ‘camp’. Potter put his hand out to block the beast, who’s head hit his finger on just the right angle to dislocate it at almost a 45 degree angle. Off to the hospital, Potter spent the rest of the afternoon waiting in emergency to get his finger put back into place.
He still competed in the Open finals the next day and ended up with 4th place! Not bad for a one handed rider. Overall, the weekend was a great success. Many people complimented the event, it’s all over for another year . . . well except that we have now also joined the committee for the Costello Yard Campdraft which is held in August.