The rural community of North Star, located 50km south of Goondiwindi, hosted the annual Australian Bushmen's and Campdraft Association (ABCRA) National Campdraft Finals and Australia Campdraft Championships which concluded last weekend. The four-day event attracted large nominations from across the nation vying for end-of-year titles and accolades.
The ABCRA advised that the continued dry weather had a significant impact on the association's ability to access suitable cattle and the cost of freighting cattle now makes holding an event in Tamworth unviable.
The new location, the North Star Sports Ground, proved to be a successful substitute, offering a perfect venue and provided access to quality lines of cattle that led to some outstanding campdrafting.
All financial ABCRA members were eligible to compete at the championships which offered over $60,000 prize money. The top 15 competitors from each horse and rider categories contested the end-of-year national finals, with points awarded from the weekend's competition, some championship titles came down to the wire.
A lifetime of breeding quality stock horses was rewarded for Julia Creek couple Evan and Kim Acton, when their Hazelwood Conman mare Millungeras Febe and Ben McNaughton won the Australian Campdraft Championships Open. Millungeras Febe is a blood sister to Millungeras Moon Beam that recently won the prestigious Willinga at Juandah Plains inaugural Open Campdraft.
St George competitor Katie Birney riding Donrica Warrior won the Ladies campdraft by a single point ahead of Carolyn Burnes and Branchvale Lady Di.
The Whitehead family had a memorable weekend, with Luke taking out the Open for Open Campdraft riding his home bred Bonlac Gigolo mare Lealukas Shanarta and his wife, Leah, taking out the Champion ABCRA Lady Rider title.
Lauren McCarthy combined with Le Storm to win the Encouragement Campdraft. Maiden A was taken out by Douglas Brown riding Quaker with an aggregate score of 174 points, while Clancy Prior and Blush claimed Maiden B.
Tim Hollis and Dulkara Victoria had a one-point victory ahead of Heidi Smith and Just Joyce in Novice A, and Novice B was won by a similar margin by Denny Farley riding Chad ahead of Laura Hardie and Real Suave.
The Holland family made the trip from WA and enjoyed taking out the Pryde's Easifeed ABCRA All Round Campdraft Horse of the Year and Open Horse of the Year Runner-Up with Rosebrook Kinetic owned by Brandan Holland and campaigned by his family. Rosebrook Kinetic is a 10-year-old stallion sired By Binnia Impressive Destiny that was bought from the Nutrien Classic Sale as a three-year-old.
Other end-of-year titles included ABCRA Open Horse of the Year being presented to Hardies Lenas Conman owned and bred by John Hardie. The Marsh Carney Novice Horse of the Year was won by Hells Angel, ridden and owned by Carolyn Burnes. The Circle L Australia Maiden Horse of the Year was a tightly contested event with Dean Turner and Lara taking the title. Long time ABCRA supporter Troy Palmer won the Most Successful Rider of the Year, Lachlan Sansom took home the Juvenile Rider title, Riley Edwards the Junior Rider, and the Encouragement Rider of the Year was won by Annabel Dalzell.
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