OUT OF THE SADDLE: The Stanthorpe Campdraft committee will have to wait a further 24 months before hosting the ACA national finals.
OUT OF THE SADDLE: The Stanthorpe Campdraft committee will have to wait a further 24 months before hosting the ACA national finals.

Campdraft penned before first run

CAMPDRAFT: Stanthorpe’s long-awaited opportunity to host the Australian Campdraft Association national finals in April 2021 has been forced to be rescheduled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision comes after this year’s April finals in Nebo were indefinitely suspended, with uncertainty lingering on gathering restrictions.

Stanthorpe’s Campdraft committee will now look to April 2023 to host the prestigious finals – the first time the event will be held in southern Queensland in “a long, long time”.

Stanthorpe Campdraft secretary Paula Boatfield said the decision was somewhat appreciated by the local committee.

“The thing for us is that we had concerns about the likelihood of attracting the sponsorship we need to run the finals, given the effect the virus has had on small and local businesses,” she said.

“We had a big sponsor and marketing campaign planned, we needed to attract corporate sponsorship to help run (the event).

“It’s been a good decision made by the ACA in conjunction with their board and us.”

The 10-day event will see riders from across the country come together for a crack at the title.

Boatfield said the event would benefit not only local riders but the wider Granite Belt community.

“It’ll put Stanthorpe on the campdrafting map; it’ll showcase our campdrafting arena that we have worked hard on,” she said.

“We’re hoping it’ll attract future horse-related events to our facility.

“It’ll be an economic benefit to the town. We’re bringing people who will be spending upward of a week to 10 days in town.”

While uncertainty still remains for the 2020 national finals, Boatfield hopes more competitors will be attracted to the sport in the future.

“It has a big place in the Australian sporting community, it’s one of the oldest known horse sports around,” she said.

“It uses skills that the man on the land still uses today, it’s a relevant sport.

“The other thing the drafting competitions bring, is the networking and camaraderie. Everyone looks forward to the chance to catch up.”