With over 940 nominations at the Mount Isa Campdraft, competitors saddled up for a hoof stompin’ weekend of skill and endurance.
The secretary of the Mount Isa Campdraft Association Rowena Murphy said the three day event promised plenty of action.
Events began early Friday morning with the Maiden A, the Restricted Open and the Novice A campdraft.
The cattle came from Thorntonia Station for the first two events and then from Calton Hills.
“We go through about 1300 head of cattle, but we got them from four different stations this year – Thortonia, Calton Hills, Maydowns Station and Rocklands Station,” Ms Murphy said.
A competition for the backyard workers – the Ringers – took place later in the afternoon.
“It was a chance for them to show off their skills and win money for it as well,” she said.
Another event held in the arena on Friday night was the inaugural State of Origin – a friendly match which usually starts out as touch football but very quickly turns in to tackle.
“A lot of the stockman came up from New South Wales so we hold a hotly contested State of Origin touch come tackle match.”
The free event saw a huge crowd dance into the night to Mount Isa’s own Bulldust Band.
“We kicked up the dust into the early hours to Bulldust,” she said.
Competitors came from far and wide and some have been coming every year to the Mount Isa Campdraft.
“We had competitors from New South Wales, Victoria and all over Queensland.”
“Some competitors came from Brunett Downs, Tennant Creek and other places in the Northern Territory.”
On Saturday the campdraft continued and a market was set up.
“We had a lady doing haircuts,- which is very popular for the Ringers – a silversmith, essential oils. A lot of station people don’t get the chance to get into town every often so it gives them a time to check out some goods in between events.”
Saturday night saw a mini rodeo event and spectators were treated to a bull ride, a poddy ride, steer wrestling and barrel races. You won’t see better drafting anywhere,” Ms Murphy said.