Stockmen from around North West Queensland are preparing their horses for the McKinlay Shire Annual Stockman’s Challenge to be held in Julia Creek this weekend.
The Stockman’s Challenge is run as a sub-committee from the Combined Sports Association of Julia Creek, this is the first event run as a new committee.
Secretary, Joy Keane, said the aim of the Stockman’s Challenge was to have fun and something for the whole family.
“We have everything from Minis to Opens,” Ms Keane said.
“It is something to come and experience. Each competitor gets their own chance to display their own ability with their horses. There are some highly experience riders and some promising up and coming riders to watch.
“This year we are running two very important memorials. The Encouragement is in memory of Dave Doyle who was the manager of Kynuna Station and passed away in July and the Classic Challenge is in memory of Peter McNeven. Both of these men were renowned horseman and well liked around the Julia Creek area.”
The three day event will see $5500 up for grabs and 90 competitors nominated. Riders will have to lay it all on the course for their chance at the prize money.
Friday’s events will start off at midday with the Mini’s Challenge for the under 7s, this will be followed by the junior and juvenile challenges. Friday afternoon starting at 4pm will be the Two Handed Cutting.
“This is an unofficial cutting event where competitors cut a beast out and you have two and a half minutes to display how well you can cut and control the beast,” Ms Keane said.
“Saturday will start at 6am with the Open Dry Work and this is where competitors will display their horses ability while competing a pattern. This will be followed by the Classic Challenge, for horses under six-years-old. This will be challenging for young horses as they need to display high level of discipline.”
“The Encouragement Challenge will then follow. This is to encourage all the young, up and coming riders to get in and have a go. In this event a prize has been donated for the highest scoring encouragement rider, riding a station owned horse. So this is to encourage our young jackaroos and jillaroos to get their station horses up and going.”
The Wet Work will then start Saturday afternoon. Sunday will start with the Futurity Campdraft for horses under four-years-old, followed by all the challenge finals.
After receiving rain earlier in the week Ms Keane said her fingers were crossed for the rain to hold off.
“Hopefully mother nature will play nice as we have put a lot of effort into this event within a short amount of time,” she said.
“It would be a let down if it did rain but we would only postpone the event.”
Ms Keane wanted to thanks the committee and volunteers for their assistance leading up to the event. She also wanted to thank Australian Agriculture Company for supplying the stock for the event.
McKinlay Shire Annual Stockman’s Challenge starts Friday and continues until Sunday. It will be held at McIntyre Park in Julia Creek.
For any updates on the event see McKinlay Shire Annual Stockman’s Challenge Facebook page.