Youth rides to victory against the odds at Dardanup draft

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Matt Davidson will remember his magic ride on a black stallion for a long time to come after the steed carried him to an astounding win at the Dardanup campdraft on the weekend.

At only 18 years old, the Pinjarra horseman took out a big field of experienced riders in the 77 entry open event and elevated his talent into the big league with some pointed recognition.

“The boy has great riding skills,” judge Steve McDowall said after awarding the ‘new kid on the block’ with a swag of trophy mementos that may be the first of many to come.

Davidson, who began drafting five years ago, was a very successful juvenile drafter and represented WA last year in the eastern states.

What made his win at Dardanup so surprising was that he had never won a novice, or even a maiden, event before — but with a little help from some friends and a good horse, he may never be at long odds again.

Scoring an 86 and an 88 in the two round event, the elated Davidson won by four points on Condamine Rivoli Showdown, an Australian Stock Horse owned by Joe Pederick, of Benger.

“The horse was very smooth and I was helped in my cattle selection,” Davidson said.

Mr Pederick, who placed second riding Showdown at a draft in Mt Barker recently, said he loaned his horse to Davidson in the spirit of helping young drafters gain more experience.

Helen Kerr, of Dandaragan, had two rounds of 82 and 88 to take second place in the open on Rosie.

In the 21 entry restricted open event, where only the best of the best are invited to compete, Charlie Staite, of Mt Barker, scored a one point win over second place getter Trevor Beer, of Dardanup.

Staite is never far from the top points and has been in the winner’s circle regularly over the years with his Quarter Horse mare, Sheza Spin.

Earlier in the competition, James Roxburgh, of Harvey, won the maiden event on Tack O Lena, in a run-off against Scott Kellar, riding Peppys Zest.

The 173 entry novice draft was won by Jo Melville, of Mayanup, riding Scruff.

Scoring a high 90 point ride, she flew around on the buckskin to claim the victory.

Juvenile drafter Jayden Panomarenko was consistent with two wins riding Flying F Captain Jay.

With many young quality riders coming through, there are sure to be some memorable drafts to come.

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