Rising spirits at campdraft
Campdrafters were celebrating the run on cattle prices at the Boar Swamp campdraft on the weekend.
More than 800 runs were completed at the 11th annual event, hosted by the Australian Campdraft Association's Boar Swamp Campdraft Club.
Competitors included Kimberley pastoralist Keith Anderson, of Jubilee Downs station, who was happy to win the open event, riding one of his favourite mustering horses and stamping his approval on the improved live export cattle market.
"The pastoral cattle community is feeling a bit more confident than it did 12 months ago," he said.
"It has been a dry summer up north, and costs of running cattle there are extremely high.
"With minimum of feed available, mustering for us will start early and we are planning to market steers in May."
Leigh McLarty, who is co-owner of the Boar Swamp property, said there was renewed confidence among campdraft competitors.
"In a way, the future of the sport is dependent on a strong cattle market, which helps to lift the drafting spirit," he said.
"There was a definite confident boost from the northern drafters with the live export market in recovery mode."
Mr McLarty said overall, the atmosphere was friendly and generous and was appreciated by the many families who participated.
Finishing a close second in both the open and restricted open events, local competitor Eric Walmsley agreed the campdraft brought a lot of goodwill towards fellow cattle producers, who have struggled over the past few years.
Mr Walmsley said he was one of the many who had to consolidate his farming interests due to higher costs and below average returns.
"The farming community is certainly in need of a few good years ahead," he said.
Having a good campdrafting season, Jack Morris, of Monro station, Broome, won the restricted open event. The novice A and B event winners were Matt Herbert and Sharlie King, respectively, while maiden A and B winners were Darcy Anderson and Brendan Scott.
Rebecca Circosta won the encouragement draft and Sedley Gibbs was best in the ladies draft.
The A and B juvenile drafts (ages 13 to under 17) were won by Tylah Edwards and Kate Craig, while Kasey Craig won both junior drafts.
Tylah Edwards and Alex Gibbs will travel to the Eastern States to represent WA in the youth exchange program.
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