Man makes history at Stockman’s Challenge

Mr Smith, who works as an electrician in Rockhampton, has been travelling to Cloncurry to compete since he was a child.

Mr Smith, who works as an electrician in Rockhampton, has been travelling to Cloncurry to compete since he was a child.

Josh Smith has made history at this year’s Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge. 

Mr Smith and horse Mr Freckles Chic, became the first duo to win both the classic and open drafts at the famed event. 

Heralded as one of the greatest displays of horsemanship in Australia, the annual competiton draws keen riders from around the country. 

Mr Smith, who works as an electrician in Rockhampton, has been travelling to Cloncurry to compete since he was a child.

“It is a great event to be a part of,” Mr Smith said.

“I keep coming back because it is the pinnacle challenge in Australia and the most prestigious.”

The skilled rider took out first place in the Classic Challenge on Mr Freckles Chic back in 2015. 

Josh Smith and horse Mr Freckles Chic, became the first duo to win both the classic and open drafts at the famed event.

Josh Smith and horse Mr Freckles Chic, became the first duo to win both the classic and open drafts at the famed event.

He returned to the ring this year to win the Open Challenge on the same horse and cement his name in the history books. 

“It feels pretty special to have won both. I think I will have a few beers tonight to celebrate,” Mr Smith said. 

Organisers said they were happy with the strong pool of 1350 nominations for this year’s event. 

Association president Cheyne Williams said the competition was one of Australia’s best horse events because of its outback location and the country hospitality offered. 

“The Curley Cattle Transport Cloncurry Stockman’s Challenge and Campdraft is an elite and prestigious event, attracting elite competitors from across Australia to the heart of the outback,” he said.

The free event is held every year to celebrate the talent and passion of horsemen and women, with spectators invited to watch entrants in the challenge finals compete for the Quart Pot. 

“Visitors will be able to see some of the very best challenge and campdraft competitors and horses in the country put their horsemanship to the test,” Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams said upgrades at the equestrian centre meant an improved experience.

“There have been some significant improvements ... including a new ablution block, a retaining wall doubling as viewing platform (and) the installation of a permanent wing for spent cattle.”