It’s that time of year again – some of the best riders and horses will converge on the colour city for this weekend’s Orange Campdraft, the 2017 edition is set to be the biggest in recent memory too.
Orange Campdraft Club has welcomed 1140 entries for the massive, prestigious three-day event at Orange Showground, including the likes of Nigel Kable from Rydal.
“It’s the biggest we’ve had here in Orange and it’s one of the biggest in the region,” Orange Campdraft Club president Peter Garlick said.
“It’s exciting, but it’s a little bit scary too considering everything that needs to be organised and there’s only so much sunlight, we’re only a small committee but everyone has busted their guts to get ready so we’re looking forward to the weekend.
“There’s some of the best horses and riders in the country coming, it’s hard to pinpoint a few because there is so much quality, but Nigel Kable is the big one with stallion Chevron Ivory.
“They’re one of the most prolific winning pairs in the country, they’ve won a lot of drafts and a lot of money across the years.”
For those playing at home, or those not familiar with the sport, each competitor cuts a cow out of a herd of seven and holds it in a yard against gates, before steering a complex course around pegs, it’s timed and each is scored on their performance.
“It’s quick, it’s complicated a times and it can get a bit hairy too, but it really is great to watch,” Garlick said, urging anyone and everyone to head to the Showground and have a look.
“These horses take a long time to train and the riders need to have a certain bond with them to be able to work with them well.”
This weekend’s Orange Campdraft kicks off at about noon on Friday afternoon, with the $1,000 White’s Transport Ladies Draft later that afternoon.
It continues through Saturday, the main event that day is the $2,200 Charlie Maher Memorial Open Draft and Final, before the final runs on Sunday.