Rider's lifetime spent in the arena

Vic Gough holding some photos of him competing at the Warwick Rodeo events in the early days.
Vic Gough holding some photos of him competing at the Warwick Rodeo events in the early days. Erin Smith

FROM campdrafting to showjumping Vic Gough has done it all and he is back for his 63rd Warwick campdraft and rodeo.

"I was 18 when I did my first campdraft in Warwick; it was 1949," he said.

Mr Gough was four when he first learnt to ride a horse.

"I grew up on a cattle property in Bowen," he said.

"Breaking in horses and mustering cattle was part of life.

"My father used to do it a lot."

The 81-year-old said the Warwick Gold Cup was certainly the most famous campdraft.

"People come from all over Australia," he said.

"It is the most sought-after prize even though it is not the highest paying.

"It is very prestigious."

The cowboy has also tried his hand at showjumping, western performance and has even ridden in America.

"It was all good and I enjoy it all the same," he said.

"You don't do it to make money; you do it because you enjoy it."

He was only 16 when he won his first buck-jump competition and if you look through the records of Warwick Rodeo winners Mr Gough's name makes quite a few appearances, including first place in the saddle bronc in 1956 and first place in the bull ride in 1959.

Over the years he said he had seen many changes.

"The winners used to pile into a Cobb and Co Coach and do a victory lap around the arena," he said.

"A lot of that sort of stuff has died out now."

Horse training has also become a passion of Mr Gough's who ran a business making and selling horse exercise machines all around the world.

"It takes about three years to train a horse," he said.

"You can't rush a horse; it can only absorb so much at a time.

"If you jam too soon you will blow its mind; you have to be steady.

"It is a slow process to make a good horse."

The cowboy is competing in this years Supafloats campdraft event.

Topics:  campdrafting equestrian horses sport warwick gold cup warwick rodeo

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