Winners of the Australian Campdraft Committee of the Year for 2019 Steven Colwell (Vice President) with Matt Weber (ABCRA), Amanda Spinks (Committee Member) and Marina Colwell (Secretary). Photo: ABCRA
THE Coonamble Rodeo Campdraft Committee has been awarded the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association’s 2019 Committee of the Year.
Committee representatives Steven and Marina Colwell and Amanda Spinks received a large trophy and banner from ABCRA President Matt Weber at a presentation in front of a capacity crowd in the main arena at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC) in Tamworth on Saturday night 25 January.
The campdraft committee are part of the larger committee that runs the combined Rodeo and Campdraft, but there is no category for a combined event.
The Rodeo Committee of the Year went to Gresford in the Hunter Valley.
“This award hasn’t been won out here for as long as anyone can remember,” said Campdraft Committee Secretary Marina Colwell. “We’re just stoked.”
Although Coonamble operates as a combined committee for the June Long Weekend Rodeo & Campdraft, there were no categories for combined events.
Both the Coonamble Rodeo Campdraft Committee and the Coonamble Stockman’s Challenge Committee were among the dozen clubs nominated from around Australia for the Campdraft Committee of the Year award.
ABCRA members from across the nation then cast their votes in an anonymous online survey.
“We’ve had so much positive feedback that our June Long Weekend Campdraft competition is a relaxed and enjoyable event,” Mrs Colwell said.
“It’s not really a spectator sport – it’s all about the competitors.”
“So it’s really nice to get that recognition from competitors that we run a good event,” she said.
Mrs Colwell says that the small team that also includes committee members Josephine Elliott, Di Elliott, Bradley Shields and volunteers Tom Shields and Kimberley French has been working hard to improve the event each year.
“We’re trying to keep it safe, we like to encourage learners who are new to the sport and all of us are trying to improve,” she said.
“We get about 1200 nominations for the event and in 2019 we extended to run for four days instead of three.”
The Coonamble Rodeo Campdraft organisers benefit from a long term partnership with local livestock producers who donate cattle each year and so far have been able to run their event when others have failed to run due to drought.
With hopes of a change of season, the Coonamble Rodeo Campdraft Committee is now beginning to prepare for their 65th anniversary event in June this year.