Campdraft to be bigger and better in memory of Graeme Acton
Organisers of the Paradise Lagoons Campdraft, say the event will be bigger and better this year in memory of its founder, and of Australia’s best-known cattlemen, the late Graeme Acton.
Cameron McIntyre is the chairman of the campdraft committee and a lifelong friend of Mr Acton, he said the event would be a bittersweet milestone.
“[Graeme] hasn’t left me since [the accident] happened but everything you do you can feel him looking over your shoulder,” he said.
“It’s been amazing the people who have offered, who’ve come out of the blue and said they’d like to give us a hand to run it.
“I think it’s a big effort on the part of the family and the committee to make it as good or better than Graeme would expect and we know he’s there and we just want to make it a great event.”
The five-day event kicked off today outside Rockhampton in central Queensland, with riders travelling from as far as South Australia and the Northern Territory, for a chance to compete.
Mr McIntyre said they had decided to include a Graeme Acton Memorial Restricted Open Draft to test “the best of the best”.
“It’s only for the open horses,” he said.
“It’s going to be run earlier in the week and the final is on Saturday afternoon leading up to the State of Origin.”
The State of Origin team event will once again be a feature of the draft.
It pits riders from Queensland against those from New South Wales and will be another big night with organisers tipping the crowd to swell to over 5,000 people.
Mr McIntyre said the excitement surrounding the State of Origin would make the riders again push to their limits.
“I’ve never seen better drafting,” he said.
“They just ride hard and pull of the things they’d like to be able to pull off in the other drafts and we end up with the big runs.”
Story and picture thanks to www.abc.net.au
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