WITH just over two weeks to go until the annual Nixon’s Xing Campdraft extravaganza, it’s almost possible to hear the hooves flying, see the dust clouds churning and the sweat foaming already.
In preparation for the August 23 to August 26 event, Nixon’s Xing hosts and organisers Terry Jones and husband Tony Olsen are busy making sure their yards and arena are in ship-shape condition for the spree of top-quality competitors coming to town.
“We’re certainly keeping the wheels turning, we’ve started prepping the ground and we’ve got over 600 nominations so far,” Ms Jones said.
“The Mare Shoot Out is full, and the St
allion Shoot Out is filling up rapidly. We’ll have the Mini Junior and Juvenile sections, the Chief Minister’s Encouragement Draft as well as the Lady’s, Novice, Open and Restricted-Open sections.
“We’re doing something new for the $20,000 Maiden Draft, which will this year come with the Stan Jones Memorial Perpetual Trophy, in memory of my dad,” Ms Jones said.
With over a thousand competitors coming to town , Katherinites and people from around the whole region will be treated to displays from the highest calibre of riders, with judges to match.
“Judging will be Steve Comiskey, Jay Rhodes and Hugh Miles, who just won the Cloncurry Campdraft.”
Ms Jones said the free Campdraft event, now in its fourth year, will see events running from 7am until about nightfall from Thursday to Sunday.
“Each day there will also be a bar open until midnight, and there’s heaps of entertainment set for Friday. Local singer Tom Curtain will perform, and we’ll have a talent quest with good money up for grabs.
“We’re calling for entries to get involved in the quest, as all proceeds will go to the Make a Wish Foundation, and a percentage of the Calcutta on Saturday night for the Stallion and Mare Shoot Out will also go to the Foundation.
“On Friday morning there will be a free morning tea for seniors, and throughout the weekend there will be face painting for the kids and everyone can sample the best barra and chips in town,” Ms Jones said.
She also said they were appealing to all-comers to drive slowly down to the Campdraft site at 300 Emungalan Road, six kilometres out of town.
“There are no excuses for going too fast, and with so many people and livestock around, you have to be safe.
“We also have to thank all the sponsors we rely on to make this huge event happen, and we know the horses and riders coming are the cream of the crop.
“This event has helped us give $17,500 to charity to-date, and we love that people come from far and wide to make it happen.”