Life in the saddle

FOR the Anderson family campdrafting is a passion and a way of life.

Travelling most weekends to compete across the region, Marie, Mark and their children Aaron (17) and Brooke (14) all take equal pleasure in the sport.

Last Friday and Saturday they all competed in the ABCRA National Campdraft Finals in Tamworth, a first for Mark but not for the rest of the Andersons - they have been there plenty of times before.

It was Aaron's sixth year and Brooke and Marie's fifth.

Aaron has this year moved out of the juvenile section and so for the first time competed against his dad.

Brooke has moved into juvenile after being crowned junior national champion last year and achieving a record score of 90 - not only a personal best but a record for the centre. 

Marie said Aaron successfully achieved all he wanted in juvenile and though he is going in competitively to the seniors, he is also going into year 12 at high school and has a busy year ahead of him.

Riding offers Aaron a mental break from studying, something much needed to keep the focus on his goal of being an engineer. 

With favourable weather conditions but tough cattle, this year the Andersons didn't bring home any ribbons.

But between them the Andersons have many trophies from their campdrafting careers. For Aaron and Brooke they have been riding almost longer than they could walk and like many children, took their riding to pony club initially.

But the much more exciting event of campdrafting soon beckoned and within a short time they had well and truly made a name for themselves in the adrenaline fuelled sport. 

The family's love of horses and riding is very apparent and this year Marie, Mark and Aaron rode the family thoroughbred Brown Vintage and Brooke rode Jessica by Brown Vintage. 

New local business Double C Saddlery Australia has chosen to sponsor the Anderson family with proprietors Candice and Carole saying they are keen to promote local talent.

With the recent presentation of products from the store, the Andersons were well geared up with Ballynahinch tack, Brigalow shirts and Double C caps as they headed to the Australian Equine Livestock and Events Centre (AELEC) in Tamworth.

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