The recent 2022 Ringers Western World Championship Gold Buckle Campdraft can only be described as an overwhelming success.
Across the four days of competition, Willinga Park in Bawley Point, saw more than 5000 people watch Australia's finest campdrafters battle it out for the coveted Gold Buckle and the $100,000 grand prize, the richest purse in campdraft history.
Spectators were treated to four action packed days of spectacular horsemanship, fine food and superb entertainment culminating in the hotly contested final.
Competitors came as far as Nebo and Muttuburra in Queensland travelling some 22 hours to take part in this years competition.
Of the 268 riders and over 500 horses, 94 riders were taken into the Semi-Final on the last day of competition, with 28 of those proving they had the skill to make the Grand Final.
Mat Holz, riding Nonda Last Frontier, all the way from Modella in Victoria, put together superb back to back rounds for a combined aggregate score of 179.32. That was enough to prove he had what it took to become the 2022 Gold Buckle champion.
Hugh Miles, riding Chic Acres missed out on the Gold Buckle by a hair, placing second with a score of 179 and Mark Buttsworth and Ben Hall placed an equal third place respectively with a shared score of 178.33.
The 2022 Feature Cut Out Final was won by Mark Buttsworth riding Peps Double Rey with the highest possible score of 25 points.
Mark also took home the highest aggregate score prize with a score of 356.99 awarding him a beautifully crafted swinging fender saddle from our American sponsors Roohide.
This year also saw the inclusion of two brand new Junior and Juvenile events, with the youngest rider being just eight years old.
The competition saw Chelsea Gardiner on her horse Cahoots Crackerjack take home the Junior Draft win and Bailey O'Dell aboard Count Duckala was our Juvenile Draft winner alongside many aspirational upcoming young drafters.
The inaugural Women's Dash for Cash was won by Vicki Hiscock riding Mewburn Bamalam showcasing a gobsmacking run, whilst the State of Origin competition had the crowds on their feet with team Ariat from Queensland consisting of Pete Comiskey, Ben Hall and Hugh Miles taking out the honors.
The final was broadcast live on 7Mate and reached over 240,000 people Australia wide.
Willinga Park's Terry Snow said the event was a major success.
"We are really amazed with the numbers this year. 268 riders with over 500 horses and over 1,200 runs across the four days, not to mention the crowds," he said.
The Campdraft arena was at full capacity on Saturday with all grandstands full.
"And we were able to showcase all of it at Willinga Park on live free-to-air television."
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