As mentioned on the SMGS Equestrian Program webpage, most of our riders participate in additional equestrian activities outside school. The sport of campdrafting is one such activity.
On Wednesday March 8 and Thursday March 9, Daniel Ternes-Dixon, Mackenzie Harding and Cody Gould participated in a campdraft clinic. The clinic was conducted by Pete and Anna Stevenson who had travelled down from Barraba with their son, Riley, and a truck full of horses. The clinic was held at the Old Ingebirah Homestead, Danny’s family property, 31 kilometres from Jindabyne.
Campdrafting is currently Australia’s fastest growing horse sport and takes not only great skill and horsemanship from horse and rider, but also the ability to work and understand cattle. Riders select and ‘cut out’ a cow from their pen and gain a score out of 26 for ‘working’ it away from the other cattle. Once riders gain control they call for the ‘gate’, two ten foot gates at the front of the yard, which are then swung open to let them onto the course. Horse and rider then attempt to put the cow around a kind of cloverleaf course, scoring two points for the first peg, a point for the second peg and a point for going through two pegs or the ‘gate’. They then have a possible score out of 70 for ‘horse work’. This is how neat, fast and tight their course is deemed by the judge. Competitors are given ‘the whip’ and are eliminated for losing their cow back to the mob in the camp or for a loss of control or for going off course outside the camp. All this is of course at a gallop!
Pete Stevenson is Mackenzie Harding’s uncle and this was Mackenzie’s first experience of campdrafting! After the clinic she had her first run at Delegate Campdraft on the weekend, on a horse supplied by Pete.
For Danny Ternes – Dixon this was an opportunity to hone his skills with a great instructor. Danny has been campdrafting for four years. On Thursday Cody also joined the clinic. Cody has been a keen rider in the past and after a couple years off, he picked right up where he had left on ‘Whipstick’, a horse he borrowed from Danny’s family.
Report form Danny, Mackenzie and Cody:
“On Wednesday we began the morning with a session on horsemanship in preparation for work in the camp after morning tea. After lunch we each had a go at working each other in the camp and began to teach our horses how to track a cow, using a mechanical cow.
On Thursday we extended on the previous day’s work as well as starting to progress onto the outside work. Later on, we then started to incorporate live cattle into the program. This allowed us to have a realistic experience without the pressure of competition.
Pete was a great instructor who really made things clear and helped each rider. We learnt quite a lot watching other riders as well as practising each element ourselves and felt ready for the draft on the weekend!”
The Delegate Campdraft
At the Delegate Campdraft the Junior (8 to 12 years ) and Juvenile (13 – 17 years) drafts are hotly contested and always great to watch! Campdrafting is a very supportive sport, with everyone happy to see a great run.
In his last Junior Draft before he turns 13, Danny had a scorching run! His cow was fast and pretty challenging and really made him and his horse, Oaks Pink Lady, work hard! They put it around the course for a 20 (camp), 4 (for course) and 60 (horse work) total of 84! That put Danny in the lead right up until the last few runs, when another great run and a score of 85 put him into second place. A great way to finish up in Juniors!
As Mackenzie’s run in the Juvenile Draft approached, it appeared that her friends and family were more nervous than she was! According to those close to Mackenzie, Mackenzie rode into the camp amidst all sorts of advice which she wisely ignored! Listening only to her coach, Uncle Pete, Mackenzie and her horse, Diva, had a very professional camp with a score of 19 and called for gate! Out they went and negotiated the first peg like they had done it all before! …unfortunately the beast got the better of her at that point. By all accounts it was a great effort for her first run in a new sport.
Head of Sport, Mr Tim Bland, was pleased with the SMGS trio of students who participated in the Campdraft clinic. He stated, “It is great to see our students participating in a range of horse disciplines. When I think of the man from Snowy River, I think of camp drafting and it is great to see our kids keeping this spirit alive.”
SMGS Equestrian Program
Riders receive a solid general education upon which they may choose to build and excel in one or more of the many equestrian disciplines, or just continue to enjoy riding as a recreational activity.
The school makes use of the wide variety of equestrian facilities in the local area, with the program centred around the purpose-built Jindabyne Equestrian Resort and Jindabyne Pony Club, while our interschools competition is held at the Station Resort which affords accommodation and stabling as well as enough space for a competition of this size.
Most of our riders participate in additional equestrian activities outside school, including pony club, dressage competitions, showjumping events, one day events, team penning and stockhorse challenges. The region is host each year to a number of agricultural shows, to the Snowy Mountains Show-jumping Festival and to the Man From Snowy River Stockhorse Challenge, providing ample opportunities for our riders to participate in their favourite sport.