Why I love it…

I know many of you wonder a little at my penchant for watching the horse sport of campdrafting. (An explanatory link for newbies who have never heard of it!)

So I will share a couple of the reasons (in no particular order) I reckon it’s one of the best sports going…

1. I grew up watching it – I have very strong memories of travelling with my Dad, spread across the engine cover (in the cab) of our truck, half-asleep in the wee hours of the morning, en route to a ‘draft.  I also remember sitting beside my paternal grandmother on the bench seat of her big mustard/gold Chrysler sedan, helping her keep score in her lined notebook of each and every run.  It was like a religion to her (after all, she was three times Aussie champ at it, so one can understand the attention to detail).  I adore the atmosphere, the thrill of the chase, and understand the sheer skill and courage it takes to do well.

2. It’s a family thing.  Families travel as a unit to each event.  They cheer each other on (not loudly though, it’s not the Aussie way… usually a quiet slap on the back suffices for a good round).
They can pretty much all compete (all levels of skill are catered for, and junior and juvenile drafts are usually offered for the youngsters).  And there is plenty of recording of loved one’s efforts taking place…


This is a gorgeous local girl filming her hubby, who subsequently ran a ‘full course’ (a very good effort!).

3. Girls hold their own with guys.  Seriously, how many physical sports can men and women compete equally in – with NO allowances for strength of gender?

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Around 30% of competitors at our local draft on the weekend were women, and they were similarly represented in the ribbon presentations at the end of each draft.


Aside: this is my Dad presenting the ribbon to the same girl who was showing a clean set of shoes in the previous shot. The annual draft Dad is awarding is named after his late father (also a campdrafter) and in an added twist, this glamorous competitor’s grandfather was brother to Dad’s mother.  (Which basically means that not only did the slim-figure genes track down THAT side of the family tree, but an inordinate amount of the horse-riding skills did too!).

4. It’s forgiving for the lazy photographer.  I was a bit slack about checking my settings this day (being all caught up in the action and not having the ‘shutterbug’ section of my brain properly switched on)  and I still managed to get a few groovy low-lightish shots.

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This was taken at 1/200th of a second (normally I’d make sure I was shooting well over 1/500th for action this quick) and I reckon the blur of the legs and dust actually ADDS to the feel of the photo.  What do you think?


Aside: this guy is someone I grew up with.  Actually, I am pretty sure he barely remembers me, but as kid who idolised anyone remotely horsey, I remember he and his brothers, who loved teasing an earnest ten-year-old girl who wanted to ride just like them!.  Three and a half decades later (how did THAT happen?) he (and his brothers, like the one below) still ride like the wind!

5. The camaraderie is kinda cool. I love that we have a couple of local ‘guns’ who have pretty big reputations around the State, who are laid-back terrific people ‘in real life’.  Plenty of competitors help each other out – asking (and giving) recommendations on choice of steer as they go into the camp yard to begin their ‘go’.  The congratulations to winners at the presentations ceremonies seem to be warm and genuine and often filled with laughter as someone shares a wisecrack.


You think this is cute? You should see the crowds swarm when the juvenile and junior drafts are on… HUGE!  The kids are the most popular stars by far.


Aside: This guy (to the left of Mr I and Violet) is a gun.  He took out the Open Draft (a top-level event) but IRL is a quiet, unassuming kinda guy who helps out at the long jump pit at our school’s sports events.

6. My husband loves it. Having NOT grown up with campdrafting, Mr Incredible is a late-starter to the sport.
But with Jill and his beloved Trooper beneath him, he is learning fast and (mostly) enjoying the rollercoaster of adrenaline and disappointment that is inherent this sport.

7. It’s got horses.

Short horses, tall horses, chestnut horses, black horses, roan horses…

Horses with pretty speckly bottoms…


Quarter horses, Australian Stock Horses and even thoroughbreds. And you know horses smell like HORSES right? Mmmmmmm…

Do I really need to explain the allure of this point any further?

I could go on for hours.

But maybe not tonight. *cue general sigh of relief*

It’s your turn now…

So what is YOUR favourite sport? And why?

Do share – I love hearing your take on the subject at hand…

See you in the comments section!

18 Responses to “Why I love it…”

  1. Violet is all girl in her pink boots but as tough as can be when needed it seems. love the pics.

  2. Any horsey sport just makes me happy. Those horses are beautiful athletes. Love the way those muscles move. The riders and horses are such remarkable teams. And don’t forget the gear, boots, hats etc. etc. Thanks for taking a moment out of your day to share!!!

  3. Enjoyed this post!

    Can’t say I really have a favorite sport, though I’ve done my share of watching kids play basketball, softball, and soccer. Grew up water-skiing and swimming. These days I enjoy dove hunting and bass fishing. Some of my most peaceful moments are on our pond with a fishing pole in hand. All the sights and sounds of nature are the best!! Well, maybe reeling in that big bass is the best. ;)
    Kelly´s last blog post ..The Curry Conundrum

  4. You DO ride some dandy looking horses!!
    Linda´s last blog post ..End of Winter?

  5. You shouldn’t bag out your photos BB….the action with blurred legs and dust is good….OK, not great but good nevertheless.
    When the Copmanhurst Campdraft is on, the drive the cattle down my road….always know when its on by the amount of “left behind” cattle presence.
    As a motorbiker in the past its the MotoGP for me and the Aussie racing when its on as well….don’t get to the track as much since moving to the bush.
    bushboy´s last blog post ..Why I am here

  6. I so wish this sport would catch on here in the States! I think it would be a great addition!

    Any Aussie’s up to coming to the States and educating us? We got the horses and we got the cattle. And we’re nice host’s. LOL

    • Inyureye – I’m not sure really. It needs a fairly large arena – bigger than a standard rodeo arena. We use our showgrounds arena which is maybe three times the size. Maybe that’s part of it. I have to say I think it would suit the Americans… ask Ian Francis next time he is over!! :-)

      bushboy – I thought I was finding some positive in those pics! Actually, I think I like it better blurry… but I am a bit weird like that. MotoGP? Smells different to my sport for sure!

      Linda – wish they were mine. Heh. Gorgeous aren’t they?

      Kelly – waterskiing! Ah. Another fave sport. Well, pastime really. (I don’t watch competitive skiing…)

      Leenie – pleased to help out! :-)

      elliek – she sure it! Those boots are from Dallas, TX actually. Her faves. :-)

  7. I love that you love where you are, love what you are doing, love the people that you do these things with. I love that you take pictures that capture that love and connectedness perfectly.

    Really, really love it.

  8. Theresa in Alberta Reply March 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Aside: This guy (to the left of Mr I and Violet) is a gun…………..say what?
    Can you put that in Canadian please!
    Yes, the dust does add to the picture.

  9. Theresa… a ‘gun’ is a term for someone who is the best. Top notch. Who else knew this was an Oz-specific term? Not me!

  10. Great story BB – I wish I had of discovered campdrafting years ago. I am now too old (at the ripe old age of 38!) or maybe too scared! None the less I LOVE watching it and could watch it all day.

  11. Horses are OK but kind of stinky and that comes from a farm girl. BUT…Tidy men in chaps doing dangerous activities such buck jumping and bull riding! that makes a horsie sport worthwhile. Another sport to enjoy? snow skiing.

  12. WHO DOESN’T LOVE IT??? I am sure I have never met a person that doesn’t like one aspect of the a camp draft!! I agree with all your reasons, but you forget one!!! ACTUALLY COMPETING!! I wish I was up for it!! Jess probably wasn’t up for it anyway!! Hows Monto??? Love SAL

  13. Great shot! :)Campdrafting really look so exciting.. I never heard of it but thanks for your pictures it made me so interested on this sports..
    Traxis´s last blog post ..How To Treat Gout

  14. I really hope that I can get the chance to watch this.. It was really one of my dream tp ride a horse.. A dream that never come true as of now.. But I am still hoping.. I really hope my hubby reads this.. :)
    Magina44´s last blog post ..My Favorite TV Online

  15. I love campdrafting it would have to be my absolute favourite sport! WA doesn’t have as many drafts as over East but it is an absolute joy to go participate in or just watch! I love reading and looking at your blog. I just don’t often get a chance which is why I am only just looking at it now! The Pre Primary children in my class are doing their news and I am having a cheeky peek!

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