PARAWAY Pastoral Co was presented with the coveted R.M. Williams Longreach Muster Golden Spurs Championship at the completion of competition in Longreach on Sunday, the first time the company will have its name engraved on the trophy.
It was a proud moment for Cheyne Williams and his team, coming from Springvale at Boulia, Davenport Downs at Winton, and Kalmeta at Julia Creek, to put their skills on the line against 10 other of the nation’s biggest cattle companies.
They included the AA Co, Acton Land and Cattle Co, Australian Country Choice, Consolidated Pastoral Co, Georgina Pastoral Co, the Longreach Pastoral College, MDH, S Kidman and Co, Stanbroke and the Williams River Cattle Co.
Some made a round trip of over 5000km to take part in the weekend, hailed as a celebration of bush spirit in the challenging times that 2013 will be remembered for.
The Calgary Stampede Bosses Draft exemplified the excitement and pride offered by the Muster, when each company’s boss joined two of his staff in the arena to guide three feisty Wagyu cattle from Georgina Pastoral Company’s Caldervale station around the campdraft course.
At times a graceful dance and at others a mad gallop, the exciting new event had the stockmen and women taking part showing all their stock sense as they pressured each side in a balancing act, to the loud encouragement of onlookers.
“It unified the whole weekend,” enthused R.M. Williams CEO Hamish Turner.
“Having the boss competing with his young jackaroo or jillaroo is just what we want to show”.
“It’s that breadth of the teams – under 21s, men and women – that shows there’s a good balance in the companies these days.”
The next generation was front and centre over the weekend as the Longreach Pastoral College hosted the event at its purpose-built arena and students competed alongside company staff.
Smiles all round for the Paraway Pastoral Co team of Clare McNeven, Cheyne Williams and Jamie Kriesch (Jason Simms absent) as they collected the Golden Spurs championship trophy for the first time in the seven year history of the competition. Click on the image to see a gallery of photos from the event.
Although Australian Country Choice dominated placings in the Stockman’s Challenge – Cameron Patch was second in the under 21s, while Ben Wade was second in the senior section, and the pair collected first place in the teams – it was Paraway that established a 70 point lead on the day that was never bettered in the campdraft or station buckjump events, further highlighting the value of teamwork.
Their 881 points was followed by the Acton Land and Cattle Co on 827 points and the AA Co on 800 in the final company standings.
Dubbed the Ringer from the Top End, Cameron Crozier rode Dirty Harry to collect an outstanding 82 points for Australian Country Choice in the station buckjump, held in old style Barcoo poley saddles and with whips cracking.
The highly decorated bronco branding team from Longreach – catchers Peter Kleinschmidt and John Kuhn, ropers Mick and Rebecca Bichsel, and brander Laurence Monize – added the Muster title to their sixth Australian singles championship, won at William Creek in South Australia last month.
Queensland took out the State of Origin rodeo 47-42, held to conclude the weekend.