CHALLENGES including drought and a global pandemic have prevented the Upper Horton community from hosting a large-scale sporting event for the better part of five years.
However, thanks to the generosity of local cattle producers, the Upper Horton Sports Club will host a three-day junior campdraft and rodeo this weekend.
Beginning on Friday, the competition will feature a packed schedule of both campdraft and rodeo events for riders of all ages and abilities.
- Cold May means early start to the snow season
- Sorghum starts to roll-in as cereals and other winter grains continue to be rolled-out
- Golden Triangle returns in grand style via Moree Picnic Races
Upper Horton Sports Club committee member and rodeo co-ordinator David Kelly said registrations were welcome on the opening day of competition, but so far interest had been outstanding.
"It's looking like it's going to be a fantastic competition and a really big event for our community," Mr Kelly said.
"We're really lucky to have quite a few really generous producers around our area who have offered up the cattle to use during the competition.
"Without them we wouldn't be able to do it so we are really grateful to those producers for their generosity and support."
Traditionally held on New Year's Eve, the Upper Horton showcase is one of the most anticipated on the North West region's calendar but the recent impacts of drought and the COVID-19 pandemic have derailed the event in recent years.
"We haven't really been able to have a proper crack at it since about 2016 or 2017," Mr Kelly said.
"In 2019 we were able to put something small together but it wasn't as big as it has been.
"I think it was all really bad timing because we had pretty much gotten the event to as big as it had ever been, then had to stop because of the drought and everything else."
Mr Kelly said he was confident riders would support the event despite the hiatus.
"We are back now and we are really hopeful of hosting something on New Year's Eve this year as well as this cracking event over the weekend," he said.
"It can be pretty tough getting events like this going again after they've missed a year, but we have a really hard-working and committed group of people driving it so we should go from strength to strength."
Friday's campdrating action begins at 9.30am followed by 7am starts on Saturday and Sunday for more junior campdraft and rodeo events.
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