Upper Horton rodeo bucks trend for big return

Upper Horton rodeo and campdraft returns in 2019 after 2018 cancellation

Events
BACK ON TRACK: The Upper Horton rodeo and campdraft event will return on New Year's Eve after being cancelled last year.

BACK ON TRACK: The Upper Horton rodeo and campdraft event will return on New Year's Eve after being cancelled last year.

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After being cancelled last year, the Upper Horton rodeo and campdraft is back for 2019.

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THE Upper Horton community will have added reason to celebrate on New Year's Eve, when its annual campdraft and rodeo event returns.

In 2018, the event was cancelled for the first time since World War II due to ongoing drought conditions.

Despite that setback, the event's committee is expecting a raft of young riders to flock to this year's event.

Upper Horton campdraft and rodeo committee member Paul Kelly said the return of the event was a major boost for the community.

"We were devastated to have to cancel last year's event," Kelly told the Leader.

"It's a highly anticipated event each year and to have to cancel it was hugely disappointing.

"However, we never gave up hope we would be able to come back again this year and, thanks to some very generous families, we will be up and running again on New Year's Eve."

This year's event will feature junior and novice categories in both the campdraft and rodeo competitions.

"We were lucky enough to have Bill and Thelma Kelly, the Gill brothers, and Ritchie and Angela Todd donate the stock for this year's events," Kelly said.

"Without them, there's no way we would be able to host any competitions.

"But with their help, we have had 90 entries for the campdraft competitions and 125 rodeo entries.

"We're still not able to host the open-age competitions but, to us, this is a fantastic place to start."

Jackson Gill.

Jackson Gill.

Despite the lack of open-age competitions, Kelly said the committee was "absolutely ecstatic" about the number of entries.

"Those are some pretty big numbers," he said.

"They are at least level with, if not greater than, what we would get during a good year when we've had rain.

"To have that kind of interest and those kinds of numbers in a drought as terrible as this is just fantastic.

"It's disappointing we can't host the open-age events at night, but we feel like this is a great start for us.

"It wouldn't happen without the stock, so we are really grateful for that support."

As well as an action-packed day of competition, the event will also act as a community celebration, complete with a live band, bar facilities and a canteen.

"The campdraft will kick off the day from 10am, followed by the rodeo from 3pm," Kelly said.

"There's free entry for anyone who wants to come and have a look. As well as that, the club will be open with a band until 8pm, so it should really be a great day and night.

"Hopefully the weather can help us out and a lot of people can get together for a great day out."

The story Upper Horton rodeo bucks trend for big return first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.

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