First Published in Australian Campdrafting Magazine – February / March 2014
Story by Debbie Sadler
Photos by Rozby’s Gear
In November 2013 two young campdrafters had the opportunity to travel to Western Australia to represent the Eastern States in the sport of Campdrafting.
Jayden Dorney who lives at Bulahdelah and April Langridge from Dora Creek in NSW, both 16 years old, were given an experience of a lifetime when they were chosen to travel to Western Australia as part of an exchange program that has been taking place for the past ten years.
Mr Fred Paterson and Kelvin Gregory of Gloucester are part of the Committee which is known as the Glowalman Junior Rodeo Championships. Each year this Committee along with the individual town Committees are responsible for holding the Campdrafting, Stock Rider, Sporting and Rodeo Championships which are run at Gloucester, Wallamba (held at the Nabiac grounds) and Manning (held at the Wingham grounds) during the winter school holidays. Hence the name is an analogue of the town names. The event gives children an opportunity to compete in a number of different horse and rodeo events over the course of a week and the age groups are broken down to give everyone an equal opportunity throughout the week. There are a huge number of prizes
on offer for individual events as well as overall tallies at each town event and an overall point score at the end of the three events.
This Series has been running for 30 years and Fred Paterson was one of the first instigators of the initial event. One of the trophies for the overall point score for the stock rider is named after his late daughter, Deborah Paterson.
About 10 years ago whilst Fred was attending a Campdraft judging clinic in Western Australia he raised the idea of an exchange program with Leigh & Nikki McLarty. They embraced it and took up the challenge of organising the first Western Australian’s, being Pia Johnson and Clair McLarty to travel to NSW. Since then there has been 20 children cross paths in this exchange program.
The Paterson family along with Vicki Evans and her family have played host every year in NSW and the McLarty family have organised the WA leg. Children are selected firstly through their participation in the Glowalman Junior Rodeo events, followed by a demonstration of exceptional horse skills and impeccable
manners and sportsmanship.
This year saw Jayden Dorney stay with Leigh and Nikki McLarty and April Langridge stayed with Todd and Tracey Nancarrow and their two children, Paige and Darcie. They
flew to WA on the 20th November and stayed for 27 days.
They were both overwhelmed by the support they were given and the number of horses on offer to them for their use while competing. The both attended three Campdrafts – Wellard Star of the
West at Boar Swamp, Coolup and Capel.
Jayden Dorney Campdrafted six different horses with the majority owned by the McLarty family and the others were lent by Rhys Morrissey but he had the most success on an Open horse named Carrot owned by the Gibbs Family.
Jayden placed 1st in the Juvenile at Boar Swamp on day one and 2nd on day two. He came 2nd at Coolup and also won the cut out and at Capel he came 5th on day one and 3rd and 5th on day two.
He also won a beautiful Wrangler vest for Coolup-Wellard “Star of the West” Juvenile Champion 2013 for the Highest Aggregate at Boar Swamp and Coolup.
Carrot also had some great achievements for his owners winning the open at Coolup ridden by Drew Gibbs and Tom Gibbs who is a Junior rider also won a similar vest for the Coolup-Wellard “Star of the West” Champion Junior rider aboard Carrot.
Jayden noted that in WA there are about 10 Campdrafts per year and everyone appears to attend most of them as there is not more than one event per weekend. The number of entries appeared to be similar to that of their NSW counterparts however the Ladies Campdraft is restricted to one run and the age restriction is 13 years and up.
Friendship is the biggest winner of the exchange with many new contacts and acquaintances forming over the period. Many of the new friends have some connection with the East and many will travel over in the coming months.
The highlight of Jayden’s trip apart from campdrafting, was the opportunity to attend the Australia vs England Cricket Test Match in Perth.
Jayden wanted to give a special thanks to all those people who offered to lend horses and an extra special thanks to the McLarty family for allowing him to stay with them. April Langridge stayed at Pinjarra south of Perth with the Nancarrow family. She was offered and tried quite a number of horses but settled on Blue from the Nancarrow family and Beanie from Simon and Erica Wood. She had three wins with a 90 on Beanie at Boer Swamp, and 88 on Blue at Coolup and an 86 on Beanie at Capel. She also competed in the Ladies Campdraft taking out 4th place at Boar Swamp and 3rd place at Coolup.
April described WA as having a completely different heat to that of her home in NSW. It was a much dryer heat and was at its worst when they experienced a heat wave on the weekend of Capel with temperatures soaring up to 40°C.
She was overwhelmed by the amount of sand and was amazed at how everything grew in it, having been used to loamy soils on the Coast. The sandy conditions made it difficult for Committees and they would be watering their grounds after about every 50 competitors.
April commented the best thing was the friendly people. “They treated you like they had known you for years.” She has made some wonderful friends and would like to thank
the two families for having them both. A big thank you to all those people that offered their horses and to the Committees that hosted the events. A special thank you to the McLarty for covering all their entry fees into the events and of course a thank you to Fred Paterson for selecting them to be part of this wonderful exchange.