Walcha community to saddle up for 'breakthrough' campdraft event

Walcha Jackpot Campdraft set to return this weekend for the first time since 2018

Events
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Committee bounces back after drought and COVID-19.

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Walcha Jackpot Campdraft committee members Rach Flanagan (holding son Harry McMaugh) and Em Pendergast are pulling out all the stops for this weekend's event. Photo: Billy Jupp

Walcha Jackpot Campdraft committee members Rach Flanagan (holding son Harry McMaugh) and Em Pendergast are pulling out all the stops for this weekend's event. Photo: Billy Jupp

FOR the first time in more than two years, the Walcha Jackpot Campdraft will be held this weekend.

Drought conditions ruled out the 2019 edition of the popular event and despite improved conditions this year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused this year's event to be postponed.

However, Walcha Jackpot Campdraft secretary Rach Flanagan said the committee was determined to bring the event to the community this year.

"We were all pretty disappointed we weren't able to get the event off the ground earlier this year as scheduled, so this event is a bit of breakthrough for us in a way," Ms Flanagan said.

"At this stage, we will have over 700 runs across the two days and we have been so fortunate to have so many generous sponsors donate some cattle for the event.

"The drought made it really difficult to source cattle last year, which is why we had to cancel, so to have more than enough stock this year is awesome and we are so grateful to all of our generous sponsors for helping out."

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This year's event will be held in the nearby town of Yarrowitch and is expected to attract competitors from as far away as Upper Horton, Tamworth and Armidale.

Fellow committee member Em Pendergast said the event would not be possible without the support of the Yarrowitch Campdraft committee.

"Normally we would host our event around Easter and we will do that again next year," Mrs Pendergast said.

"We would also normally hold it here in Walcha but we haven't been able to this time around so Yarrowitch were kind enough to help us out.

"Their event is in two weeks so we will give them a hand with their event as a way of thanking them for helping us with ours.

"We've been really blessed to have such a hard working committee that has really pulled together to make this possible."

Saturday's action will begin from 6.30am and Inverell's Smo-King Barbecue will be catering the event.

"There will be some COVID-safe protocols that everyone will have to adhere to," Ms Flanagan said.

"Everyone who is planning on competing or coming as a spectator will have to wear a wristband to ensure we don't exceed our crowd capacity.

"We are capped at 500 people at the sports ground so it's really important people remember to wear their wristbands while they are there.

"It's been a long time for us between events and I think everybody is really keen to get there and have some fun, so I think we are up for a great weekend."

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