Henry steers his way to victory

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Tom Gibbs, of Gingin, and Jayden Dorney, of NSW, were the youth overall winners.
Camera IconTom Gibbs, of Gingin, and Jayden Dorney, of NSW, were the youth overall winners. Credit: Supplied

Winners were grinners at the annual Wellard Star of the West Campdraft held at Boar Swamp on the last weekend of November.

Taking out the prestigious Wellard open horse draft title, Henry Clifton, riding Hayclif Sambo, was back in the winners' circle after a thrilling tie-breaking ride-off.

The 74-year-old Boyanup beef producer was on equal points after two rounds with Rhys Morrissey, riding Acres of Frost.

In the deciding run-off it was stallion against stallion with both riders and their studs performing brilliantly, leaving only one point the difference.

Clifton and Sambo chalked up their 25th campdraft win with a congratulatory handshake from Wellard managing director Mauro Balzarini.

Mr Balzarini promised great displays of horsemanship and stockmanship at the sixth annual Wellard draft, and riders were up for the challenge.

Wellard Group Middle East general manager Harold Sealy said the draft, which raised contributions to charity, was a way of supporting the regional areas of WA.

Under the watchful eye of judges David Wilson, Gilgandra, NSW, and Scott Keilar, of Narrogin, the 10- event draft run over three days was non-stop action with more than 700 entries.

The wins were well spread with sisters Harriet and Annabel McLarty on top in their respective events.

The McLarty family, who host the Wellard draft on their Pinjarra farming property, enjoy the benefits of the home court advantage.

Harriet's win in the Children's Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation ladies' draft, was not only for a good cause, but was also her swan song to the WA circuit before she moved over east to start a new life.

Annabel's victory in the Westcoast Wools maiden draft was a tribute to her triplet sister after many memorable drafting years together.

"May Harriet run with the best in the Eastern States drafts," Annabel said.

Also in winning form was Steve McDowall, riding Carrigans Miss Molly, taking out the Wellard Rural Exports Star of the West open draft.

It was McDowall's first open win riding Molly.

In the Mitchell's Livestock Transport novice draft, with more than 200 entries, Charlie Staite, riding Jerryteer Cat, was another combination celebrating a first win.

Amber Neuman, riding Emm Gee, was best in the Beaufort River Meats encouragement draft.

The youth events were very competitive, showing the future of the sport has plenty of true grit in the making.

The overall junior rider, Tom Gibbs 10, riding Dakota Carrot, was carrying on the family tradition after his father (Drew) won the prestigious Quilty the week prior.

"Carrot has been a very consistent performer in both the junior and open events," Drew said after congratulating his son on a brilliant drafting performance.

Visiting and sponsored competitor Jayden Dorney, 14, of Bulahdelah, NSW, was the overall juvenile winner.

"The facilities at Boar Swamp are top-class, which made it so enjoyable to compete in my first WA draft," he said. "I want to thank the McLarty family, all the sponsors, including Wellard Group and the Boar Swamp Campdraft committee, for running such a professional competition."

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