Dalby Campdraft going ahead and bigger than ever
WHILE the drought tightens its cruel grip on rural communities across Queensland, members of the Dalby and District Campdraft Club won't let it dwindle their spirit as they gear up for the annual campdraft with more nominations than ever.
Receiving more than 2000 nominations, the committee had to adjust competition times to allow more riders a chance and increase the number of runs from 850 to just over 1000.
Secretary Melissa Thies said drought conditions were making drafts harder to come by, so everyone was making the most of the events that did go ahead.
"Due to the drought at the moment it's just really hard for each committee to get cattle to run a draft. We've got NAPCO and Morgan Pastoral on board lending us cattle to run the draft this year and we're very lucky to have them,” Mrs Thies said.
The campdraft will also be about giving back to those doing it the toughest, fundraising for Drought Angels with a calcutta on the open final and a charity cutout.
Last year the event raised $2500 for Drought Angels, and earlier this year the committee gave $5000 to Sisters of the North to support flood victims.
While pockets aren't as deep during drought, the committee still recognises the importance of lending a helping hand, seeing first hand just how brutal the drought can be.
"A lot of these people are people off the land, we've had cancellations - people who can't come, who have wanted to nominate but are out on the road with cattle and have to have them out daily just to feed them,” Mrs Thies said.
"We're all country people, we've all got to look out for each other. You don't know when you're going to be deflated and be scratching.
"Drought Angels does a wonderful, wonderful job for farmers all over the country who are in trouble with all sorts of support.”
Mrs Thies and her family compete in campdrafting so she understands how important is it to ensure these events survive.
"It's people's passion, it's people's sport... we put a lot of training into our horses and feed and care and this is what we do it for - to be able to go out and compete and show off our horses and our skills,” she said.
Mrs Thies tips the open final will be a highlight for spectators with the best horses on show and plenty of action.
Beck Street Kindergarten, the Wheatmen Rugby Club and the Windsor Hotel will provide meals on the weekend and the club will host a "nightclub in the scrub” on Friday and Saturday nights for people to have a drink and a dance.
The Dalby and District Campdraft starts at 9am Friday and continue throughout the weekend.