AFTER a successful weekend of riding and judging, Clermont couple Mac and Gayle Shann were at the Warwick Showgrounds yesterday for the biggest week of campdrafting in the nation.
While Mac was second in the Chinchilla Grandfather Clock Campdraft on Saturday, his wife Gayle judged the Chinchilla Grandmother Clock Ladies Campdraft on Sunday.
Gayle was just happy to play a part in the sport she loves after almost losing her life in a farm accident involving a post hole digger on their Clermont property in 2002.
She was in hospital in Sydney for their third wedding anniversary after losing her right arm in the accident and badly injuring her left arm which is now paralysed.
“But I have my engagement and wedding rings on my left hand,” she said.
“My (original) wedding ring was lost in the farm accident.”
She said yesterday it was a case of sink or swim after the accident and she took the swim option.
“At least I am here and not six foot under, there is always someone worse off than yourself,” she said.
“You have to make the most of life.”
Her zest for life was highlighted on Australian Story and was the most-watched story of the decade of the program on the ABC.
They first came to the Chinchilla and Warwick campdrafts in 2005 when Mac admits he competed badly and are now back five years later.
“We would love to come back as often as we could but it depends on the season... the farm makes the money,” Gayle said.
“No property, no campdrafting,” Mac added.
Gayle isn't eyeing off a job as a campdraft judge at Warwick just yet.
She was happy to officiate at Chinchilla and admits it was nerve-wracking.
“You need to have thick skin as everyone has different opinions but I enjoyed it,” she said. Gayle isn't looking back to what might have been for her as a rider but her husband said she was good at the sport.
“She competed for a few years and was second in the Clermont Gold Cup, one of the big ones in Central Queensland,” Mac said.
She rode Jackson, now 19, to a Clermont second placing a decade ago and more recently Mac was second in the Paradise Lagoons open on the same horse.
Mac rode seven-year-old mare Miss Heart Acre to second at Chinchilla and reckons his form mare, the old reliable Jackson and their stallion One Moore Daddy are three of his best chances for success in Warwick.
“I hope to be riding every day as I have brought down six horses,” he said.
As for his chances of winning the Black Toyota Warwick Gold Cup or Supafloats Canning Downs campdrafts, he reckons his chances are 650 to one. If he does win, it will be a tame party.
“I partied at Chinchilla (runner up) as if I had won and it was a long drive to Warwick the next day, it is a lot further home to Clermont,” Mac said.
While the Shanns are enjoying a good season, Mac admits they could do with a bit more rain on the Central Highlands.
“I was a bit toey when I saw debris on the fence here,” he said.
Adults (14 years and older): $25
Children (5-13): $5
Three-day single pass: $55
Three-day family pass (2 adults and 2 children under 14 years): $110
- Jump on to Finda to see a gallery of some of the Campdraft action.