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…
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?
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.
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.
Horses with pretty speckly bottoms…
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!