MORE than 2200 horse and rider combinations are putting their talent to the test at the 2015 Warwick Rodeo and Campdraft this week.
But how does campdrafting actually work?
What are the rules?
What are the judges looking for?
Veteran Warwick Daily News sports journalist Gerard Walsh has covered more than his share of rodeos over the years.
In a campdrafting competition, a rider on horseback must "cut out" one beast from the mob of cattle in the yard or the "camp" and block and turn the beast at least two or three times to prove to the judge that they have the beast under control.
The rider then must take it out of the yard and through a course around pegs involving right and left hand turns in a figure eight, before guiding it through two pegs known as "the gate".
Up to a total of 100 points are scored by horse and rider.
Here's the way Gerard describes it.
Cut out (points out of 26)
The closer the rider works to the front (near gate) of the yard, the more difficult it becomes to control the beast and therefore the greater chance of a higher score due to degree of difficulty.
If the rider loses the beast back into the mob once, they lose four or five points. A second loss is disqualification.
Once a rider cuts out a beast, they must stay on that beast. There are up to eight head in the cutout yard, two head are added after each two campdrafters.
Horsework (points out of 70)
The faster and closer to the pegs (two tree branches in ground) the better.
Good judgement is needed to change sides (of the beast) at the right time.
Speed is important but it is how the rider handles the speed which is important and how the rider keeps control of the beast.
There is a time limit of 40 seconds once the rider leaves the camp.
Judges don't give concessions for a rider with a slow beast as the rider picked the beast. Very few riders in Warwick are worried by the clock unless they miss a peg and have to go around it again.
Course (points out of four) If the rider gets the beast through the two pegs on the far side of the arena, they get the maximum four points.
There is an element of luck in getting through the pegs but like anything, you make your own.
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