Campdraft rides into rich arena
By FRAZER PEARCE ? A BACKYARD blitz of cattle-station proportions is underway at a Rockhampton beef property as organisers gear up for Australia's richest campdrafting and cutting event.
Crews of workmen are putting the final touches to new state-of-the-art cutting and campdraft arenas in time for the $170,000 Paradise Lagoons three-day horse competition which starts April 29.
The competition is one of the most significant sporting carnivals in regional Australia and attracted 10,000 people last year.
To enhance the viewing experience this year, closed circuit cameras will broadcast events from all three arenas to a massive screen located in the main spectator area.
The event, at the property's $2 million horse sport complex, has attracted 1300 nominations from more than 500 competitors from across Australia with even more expected before entries close this week.
Yesterday Paradise Lagoons Campdraft chairman Graeme Acton said with two campdraft ovals and a cutting arena in operation there would be non-stop action from "dawn to dusk''.
"We are creating an atmosphere to get the crowds involved which will enhance the performance for sporting men and women,'' he said, after riding his horse Supergirl across the new campdraft oval.
Additional events this year include stallion draft, novice draft and two challenge events, which Mr Acton said would appeal to a wider cross section of riders.
Proceeds from the non-profit event go to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service while other community groups and sporting clubs will benefit from supplying services, such as the kitchen and bar, over the three days.
There will also be a trade show.
Entry is a gold coin donation.