2200 nominations for iconic Paradise Lagoons Campdraft
CAMPDRAFTING: Aimee Olive will saddle up in six events at Australia's premier campdraft, which thunders into action today.
The Raglan rider will be among 400 competitors chasing a share of more than $250,000 in cash and trophies on offer at the four-day Paradise Lagoons Campdraft.
Thousands of spectators will flock to the multi-million dollar, purpose-built facility 16km from Rockhampton to watch some of the country's leading horsemen and women put their skills to the test.
Campdraft president Tom Acton said the stage was set for another exciting instalment of the iconic event, which is now in its 16th year.
"Everything's come together well and the vibe around the place is really good,” he said.
"We had 40mm of rain last week which freshened things up.
"Nominations are great. We're expecting as many as 2200, which will be about 700 up on last year.
"I think that's due to a change in the program - we've brought back the Supergirl Draft and we've taken the restricted open out to three rounds - and there are a number of competitors who haven't been here before.”
Olive is no stranger to the event, having competed for the past six years.
She has a very demanding schedule, and will compete in the $100,000 Graeme Acton Memorial Open, the Open Campdraft, Novice Draft, Supergirl Spectacular Draft, Ladies Draft and Stallion Draft.
She will ride four different horses over her nine runs and is keen to break through for a win.
"I've got to the finals a couple of times but have never placed,” she said.
"I missed out on a place by one point in the ladies event last year.
"I'd love a ribbon and I will be trying my very best to get one.”
Olive works on her family property at Raglan and followed her mum Roxanne into campdrafting.
"I've been riding all my life and campdrafting since I was five.
"Horses and cattle have been part of my everyday life from a very young age.
"Mum drafts so I followed on from what she was doing.
"I just love it and I've always said that when it comes to campdrafting, you only get out what you put into your horses.
"The better the relationship with your horse, the better they work for you.
"I'm looking forward to competing at Paradise Lagoons again. It's good to see if you can match it with some of the sport's bigger names.”