Gold Cup glory for Connor in campdraft
IT IS held a long way from the manicured turf and roses of Flemington racecourse, but the dusty Warwick showground holds an equally special place in the hearts of campdrafters.
They don't race for millions, and the crowd is more likely to be slinging back rums than sipping champagne.
But competitors fight just as hard to claim the Warwick Gold Cup as those who covet the famous three handled trophy awarded on the first Tuesday of November.
"The Warwick Gold Cup is the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting," Southgate's Peter Connor, and third placegetter behind Ben Tapp (Cool Dust) and Terry Hall (Hazelwood Conman) this year said.
"It is definitely the best result of my career in the saddle, and it's still a bit of blur actually."
More than 700 competitors travelled from around Australia in an attempt to win the prized Cup, and this was Connor's 13th pilgrimage to the annual event.
"We're just getting home from 10 days of competition, and I'm looking forward to getting the horses off the truck and putting them in the home paddock," he said. "It's a huge week and I don't think the result has really sunk in yet."
Connor achieved his best result on a horse named Grouse, but also competed aboard Yothu Yindi.
Connor also was in the final of the Champion of Champions which is the best of the best campdraft. He ran the highest score in the final and was only one point behind the winner after three rounds.
Connor, a builder by trade, was the only finalist that wasn't a professional fulltime horseman/cattleman.
"Grafton has had quite a lot of success in the event in the past, we already have a Gold Cup winner in David Gillett and Stephen Hill has also won it," Connor said.
"I don't have the Gold Cup sitting on the mantle just yet, but I'll be back up there next year."