Wellard campdraft a family affair

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Bob Neuman and his grandson, Tom Gibbs, at the Wellard Star of the West Campdraft.
Camera IconBob Neuman and his grandson, Tom Gibbs, at the Wellard Star of the West Campdraft. Credit: Bob Garnant

In its ninth year, the Wellard Star of the West Campdraft has matured into one of the best of its kind, as evident at the recent action-packed event.

There were many highlights, but none more so than that witnessed during the final round of the open competition, with four experienced riders vying for top bragging rights. The open event, which had 127 entries over two rounds, was narrowed to 16 entries for the final.

While Damien Reid, riding Karadal Fern, set the bar high, it was Bob Neuman, of Gingin, riding his stallion Dakota Fullo C Dees, who stole the show with a very skilful 86-point final score to tally a combined 265 overall points.

“Although I am 83 years young, I mean to continue campdrafting with a mindset to win,” Mr Neuman said. “It felt great.”

Mr Neuman said the key to his longevity in the sport was a healthy diet and regular exercise.

“The secret is having a good honest horse, quiet by nature and very versatile,” he said.

Mr Neuman, who was raised in the United States on a Montana cattle ranch, has had great success in Australia with his Dakota Quarterhorse stud over the years. This year, spectators were thrilled to see his top stallion taking on the best at the Wellard campdraft at Boer Swamp.

“I emigrated to WA in 1969 and since, my family has grown and I am thrilled to have my children and grandchildren enjoying the sport,” he said.

Mr Neuman’s grandson, Tom Gibbs, 15, also had a favourable outcome at the campdraft.

Competing in the juvenile class, Mr Gibbs was up against youth exchange rider Cody Clarke, of New South Wales, who posted a 92-point score.

Mr Gibbs said he welcomed the pressure and put in a matching score, riding Dakota Carrot.

The run-off to claim a winner went his way, giving another victory dance to his proud grandfather.

But the Gibbs-Neuman family success did not end there, as evident in the restricted open event.

Mr Gibbs’ father, Drew, was in the top running with a score of 167 until the last competitor, Frank Angel, of Manjimup, stamped his authority with a final two-round score of 173.

Mr Angel said he repeated his April win at the Boer Swamp venue riding Postscript, an 18-year-old Australian Stockhorse mare.

In the 125-entry Novice B event, Tom Curtain, of Katherine, took out a demanding win riding Oaks Bailey, while in the open event, he placed fourth on Acres of Play.

The Novice A event was won by Moneeka Angel, riding Hooligan.

Maiden event winners were Glen Parsons and Scott Keilar.

Louise Clifton, who was celebrating her 13th birthday at the campdraft, also competed favourably in the juvenile event, with a third-place finish.

Performing brilliantly in the junior competition, Grace Hall, of Northam, won both her age-group events.

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