Blythewood swamped as campdraft comes to town

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Drew Gibbs, riding Dakota Rizzo, won the restricited open at the Boar Swamp Campdraft at Pinjarra.
Camera IconDrew Gibbs, riding Dakota Rizzo, won the restricited open at the Boar Swamp Campdraft at Pinjarra. Credit: Bob Garnant

Horse and rider cattle manoeuvres were at their best at the 2019 Boar Swamp Campdraft last weekend at the McLarty family’s Blythewood Pastoral property, south of Pinjarra.

Spectacular rides by the top finishers brought the sport, recognised as Australian-developed, in line with two others of similar heritage in Australian Rules and polocrosse.

Gingin competitor Drew Gibbs, a 24-year veteran on the WA circuit, had his 10-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Dakota Rizzo, in peak form when they took out the restricted open title.

Pinjarra cattleman Leigh McLarty, of Blythewood Pastoral, hosted a successful 16th annual Boar Swamp Campdraft which brought 138 competitors.
Camera IconPinjarra cattleman Leigh McLarty, of Blythewood Pastoral, hosted a successful 16th annual Boar Swamp Campdraft which brought 138 competitors. Credit: Countryman, Bob Garnant

With 45 entries involving two rounds, Gibbs scored consistently in his cut-outs and outside scores to take a six-point lead on runner-up Jonathon McDonald.

“Rizzo is just beginning to settle into the fine tunings of the sport,” Gibbs said.

Gingin campdrafter Drew Gibbs, riding Dakota Rizzo, took out the restricted open title and placed second in the open horse competition at the Boar Swamp Campdraft.
Camera IconGingin campdrafter Drew Gibbs, riding Dakota Rizzo, took out the restricted open title and placed second in the open horse competition at the Boar Swamp Campdraft. Credit: Countryman, Bob Garnant

On the final day of competition, Gibbs continued his successful run with Rizzo by placing second in the open horse event.

Pinjarra campdrafter Jacob Walmsley, riding Hurtle, a 12-year-old Australian Stock Horse cross Thoroughbred, who took third in the restricted open, made the best improvement to win the open horse.

“Hurtle was the first horse bred on my family’s cattle property, and this was my third open win on the gelding, while my father, Eric, has as many as five wins riding our special horse,” he said.

Jacob Walmsley, of Pinjarra, riding Hurtle, won the open horse competition.
Camera IconJacob Walmsley, of Pinjarra, riding Hurtle, won the open horse competition. Credit: Pictures: Bob Garnant, Bob Garnant

One of the best cut-out scores was also settled in the restricted open event with Bob Neuman, of Gingin, who had his 86th birthday last week, taking the win on his stallion Dakota Full O CDees.

Jacob Walmsley, of Pinjarra, riding Hurtle, won the open horse competition.
Camera IconJacob Walmsley, of Pinjarra, riding Hurtle, won the open horse competition. Credit: Bob Garnant

Judge John Lee, of Manilla, NSW, said overall there was a high percentage of outside runs from very good horses and riders.

“The campdraft has been an excellent community event that was very family orientated,” he said.

Bob Neuman, riding Dakota Full O CDees, won the cut-out award.
Camera IconBob Neuman, riding Dakota Full O CDees, won the cut-out award. Credit: Bob Garnant

The Boar Swamp Campdraft Club raised $1400 to send two youth members over east in July to participate in the circuit there.

Juvenile competitors Tom Gibbs and Kasey Craig will take part in the youth exchange program this year. Tom was mustering cattle on the Nullarbor, making practical use of his campdrafting experience, while Ms Craig attended the Boar Swamp draft with her family.

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