G’day, Mates! Join Us in Welcoming the Aussie Sport of Campdraft to America!
America’s First Campdraft Clinic & Competition • August 23-25, 2013 Elbert County Fairgrounds • Kiowa, Colorado
What is campdraft? It’s similar to cutting, ranch sorting, and team penning, with a little bit of barrel racing thrown in. It’s a whole lot of fun for the entire family. The US National Campdraft Association was formed to: (a) promote the sport of campdrafting throughout the United States and encourage, stimulate and educate the public; (b) assist with the development and training of people and horses in new techniques applicable to campdrafting; (c) arrange and promote lectures, demonstrations and competitions for campdrafting; and (d) form, or assist in forming campdraft clubs that will promote and encourage campdrafting.
Under Australian Campdraft Association rules, horse and rider begin in a herd of at least six cattle, called a ‘mob’, in a small pen, or ‘camp’, connected to a large circular arena, or ‘draft’. With two helpers minding the gate to the arena, the competitor cuts the chosen cow from the herd and works it for a short amount of time. Once the rider is ready, the helpers allow the ‘beast’ and rider through the gate to the arena. There, the team has 40 seconds to guide the cow through a cloverleaf pattern of cones, known as pegs. The cow must be turned in a figure 8 around the first two cones; then driven around the top end of the set of cones at the far side of the draft until the cow faces the camp and runs through the last two cones. All maneuvers in the draft are typically performed at high speed, to avoid running out of time.
Knocking down the first peg, losing control of the cow and riding the pattern incorrectly results in disqualification. The horse and rider can earn up to a maximum of 100 points for their performance: 26 for the cutout; 70 for horse work; and 4for proper completion of the course.
Quarter Horses have found their way into the campdrafting mix in Australia, with many breeders taking note of the Quarter Horse’s versatility, athleticism and cow sense. “The Quarter Horse adds tractability to the horses,” said Australian breeder Terry McKinnon, who breeds both purebred Quarter Horses and crosses with Australian Stock Horses, in an interview with the AQHA Journal. “Quarter Horses are every bit as smart and they have a little better mindset.”
Two of Australia’s leading competitors and clinicians will be in Kiowa, Colorado to teach us how to compete in campdrafting and assist in the first United States Campdraft competition. Joining us are Steven Hart and Peter Comiskey. Steven Hart is on the Australian Campdraft board of directors; is a campdraft clinician; a sanctioned campdraft judge; and is a leading campdraft competitor. Peter Comiskey is Australia’s all-time National Champion. Pete has won more campdrafting championships then anyone in the history of the sport – and campdraft started in the late 1800s! In addition to competing in campdraft, Pete is a sanctioned campdraft judge and campdraft clinician.
Test your American Quarter Horse’s athleticism and cow sense, and sign up for a good time while you’re at it, at the Colorado campdraft clinic and competition August 23-25. For more information, or to sponsor the event, contact Mary Harris at email@example.com or (303) 621-5836; http://campdraft.us https://www.facebook.com/CampdraftUS
Photo 1: Pete Comiskey has earned the Australian Campdraft Association (ACA) Open Rider title 18 times; has earned as many ACA Horse Titles; and has won most of the major campdrafting trophies at least once. These trophies include the Warwick Gold Cup, the Canning Downs Open Draft and the Frasers Livestock Stallion Draft, which are all held in conjunction with the Warwick Rodeo. He’s also won the major drafts at Paradise Lagoons.
Photo 2: Steven Hart has been riding horses for more than forty years. He made a commitment to learn everything he could from the best equestrian men and women he could find. He has implemented a system of training by laying down a solid foundation on which he can then build. Getting that foundation nice and strong enables the horse to go on and accept discipline training for any horse sport the owner wishes. In between a hectic summer Campdrafting schedule, where he campaigns his own horses and his clients’ horses, Steven operates a full-time performance horse training and education center in Googong NSW, only 10 minutes from the outskirts of Canberra, the capital of Australia. http://www.stevenhart.com.au/Steven_Hart_Performance_Horses/Welcome.html
Photo 3: Kip Gates, president of the Australian Stock Horse Association U.S. Branch, and Mary Harris, President of the U.S. National Campdraft Association.