Veteran hits top form in Wellard draft

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman

The Wellard Star of the West Campdraft at Boar Swamp, just south of Pinjarra, at the weekend put some new names on the winner's board.

While veteran campaigner Heath Stewart, of Baker's Hill, turned on another sensational performance, winning the restricted open and cut-out, shoot-out events, other seasoned drafters lost momentum along the way to the annual draft.

Stewart said his wife, Kellie, did a terrific job getting their 12-year-old Stockhorse mare, Impulse, back into drafting form.

"Impulse is having a purple patch lately with multiple wins in earlier drafts this year," he said.

Moving into the spotlight at the draft was first-time winner of the open event, Sam Jones, of Badgingarra.

Riding her 13-year-old Stockhorse gelding, W P Tenebrae, Jones said it was the consistency over the three runs that put the pair on top.

"I was riding my first pony at three-years-old and it was great to have mum here today to watch me win the open," she said.

Tenebrae also competes in eventing and barrel racing.

In the 220 entry novice event, Bianca Donald, of Gingin, and her buckskin Quarterhorse stallion, Smart Little Tinky, set the pace with the highest score over the draft.

Donald set up her win in the first run with a 92-point score, making it a sure bet they could not be matched.

"It was my highest point tally after 10 years of drafting," she said.

Also moving up a notch was Emma Gibbs, of Gingin, who won her first maiden draft riding Dakota Tonette.

The 17-year-old is just back from New South Wales where she and team mate Maddi Edwards won the Youth Challenge Shield event.

With the maiden events split into A and B groupings, it was Eric Walmsley, of Coolup, who won the former.

Walmsley, on his six-year-old Stockhorse, Santa, said he attributed his win to consistent performances of 14 placings in the last 16 drafts.

The youth of the campdraft circuit had two chances to win in their respective events.

In the juvenile drafts, the first win went to Lochie Argue, of NSW, who is on the youth exchange program.

The other juvenile winner to win on Sunday was Alex Gibbs, of Gingin.

"I was excited that my older sister and younger brother and I won our respected events," 16-year-old Alex said.

Her 10-year-old brother, Tom, won the junior event on Sunday, having his first final gate score.

Draft organisers and brothers Justin and Rhys Morrissey were pleased the event was as popular as ever.

"It was the fourth Wellard Star of the West and the event is gaining momentum," Justin said.

Sponsored by Wellard Rural Exports, there was lots of fund raising to support the Kids Helping Kids program.

Wellard chairman Mauro Balzarini said the draft allowed the company to showcase its commitment to the rural industry.

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