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The bell tolls for Rea after first leg of triple crown

IN FINE FORM: Wally Rea, riding Annie, wins the Condamine Bell Open draft on Saturday afternoon.
IN FINE FORM: Wally Rea, riding Annie, wins the Condamine Bell Open draft on Saturday afternoon. Sue Waldron Photos

WALLY Rea and his mare Annie are the pair to watch this weekend in Chinchilla, having taken out the Condamine Bell Open Draft on Saturday.

Taking out the open win and a total $38,000 prizemoney in the first leg of the triple crown of campdrafting, Rea and his faithful workhorse now have their eyes set on adding a third grandfather clock to the collection.

But while Rea will be focused on the task at hand at the 120th Chinchilla Grandfather Clock Open Draft, everyone else will be watching him.

The Condamine Bell, the Chinchilla Grandfather Clock and the Warwick Gold Cup campdrafts make up the Queensland Triple Crown - and if someone ever manages to win all three, they will pick up an extra $30,000 prizemoney on top of their other winnings.

"The likelihood (of winning) is quite slim,” Rea admitted.

"But I won the first one, so I'm the only one who has a chance now.”

Rea had nothing but good things to say about his time in Condamine over the weekend.

"It's a very good committee, they have good cattle, and they go to no end of trouble to please the competitors,” Rea said.

"The ground is as good as possible, it's continually watered and levelled; I rate it one of the top (campdrafts) in the state, just because the committee puts in and, of course, the money's well appreciated.”

But more than anything, the fact the Condamine Bell Campdraft runs with two judges is what keeps Rea coming back.

"They try their best to have one (different) judge for each round, and two of them for the finals,” Rea said.

"It's like if you go to the pub - not everyone likes the same drink.

"Two judges makes it as fair as possible.”

A life-long cattleman based in Marlborough, Rea can't remember a time where he couldn't ride a horse. Yet campdrafting is just a hobby for him.

"Campdrafting itself is like a demonstration of your horsemanship and cattlemanship skills,” he said.

Luck also plays a big part - both good and bad.

"The underlying thing is it doesn't really matter who your father is, those steers don't read your resume,” he said.

Kimberly Johnson (riding Oaks Utopia) won the Condamine Bell Ladies Draft. Hugh Miles (riding Symphony's Chic) won the Condamine Bell Novice Draft.

The 120th Chinchilla Grandfather Clock Campdraft will run from Thursday to Sunday at the Chinchilla Showgrounds. The Restricted Open Draft and Open Draft finals will be held on Saturday afternoon.

Topics:  campdraft chinchilla horses


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