Large numbers of entries are expected for this weekend’s Cooyar Campdraft, which will be held at Cooyar’s campdrafting grounds just west of the town on Saturday and Sunday, October 3-4.
Cooyar stages two campdrafts every year – one in March and the other in October – and they’ve become well-established fixtures on the State’s campdrafting circuit.
Both campdrafts attract keen competitors from all over south-east Queensland, along with many local campdrafters keen to test their skills against some of the State’s best campdrafting talent.
Cooyar Show and Campdraft Society president Paul Barron said more than $1 million in improvements have been made to Cooyar’s campdrafting grounds over the years to accommodate the popularity of the events.
“Our most recent improvement was a $70,000 upgrade to the power system,” Paul said.
“We only just got it finished.
“The bulk of it was funded by the committee, but we did get a grant which helped out.”
This weekend’s campdraft will feature an Open Draft, Novice Draft, Maiden Draft, Junior Draft, Juvenile Draft and a Local Challenge Draft.
Events will get underway at first light on Saturday and conclude on Sunday afternoon.
On Saturday night, the campdrafting grounds will also host live entertainment, with musician John Kohler playing from 7:00pm until late into the night.
A bar and canteen will be operating throughout the two days as well, and admission for spectators is completely free.
The Cooyar Campdrafting Grounds are located off the New England Highway on the Toowoomba side of Cooyar just west of the town (look for the turn-off near the last bridge).
Note: For the benefit of city folk who’ve never been to a campdraft, campdrafting involves mounted horsemen (and women and children) driving cattle around a fixed course in a ring. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and even the best campdrafters can come unstuck if they draw a wayward cow.
Competitors pay a fee to take part in campdrafting competitions, which offer prize-money to the winners; but spectators are welcome along to watch at no charge. And if you enjoy good horsemanship, campdrafts can be quite entertaining events.
Most campdrafters and spectators wear casual outdoor gear – usually jeans, boots, shirts and hats to ward off the sun. Campdraft crowds are very welcoming and happy to explain the finer points of the sport to newcomers.