Campdrafting & Cutting
Campdrafting is a unique Australian sport involving a horse and rider working cattle and is recognised as a national sport. In the competition, a rider on horseback must "cut out" one beast from the mob of cattle in the yard or "camp" and block and turn that beast at least two or three times to prove to the judge that they have the beast under control; then take it out of the yard and through a course around pegs involving right and left hand turns in a figure eight, before guiding it through two pegs known as "the gate". The outside course must be completed in less than 40 seconds.
Competitor is allowed to ride in saddlery of their own choice, and horses can be worked in any bits, bosals or hackamores, however the horse must have free use of its head and any type of head tie-down, running reins, head checks etc must not be used. All nosebands attached to the bit are to be a minimum of 20mm in width and of leather construction. The saddle must have at least two points of attachment. Suitable attachments are a double buckle girth, girth and surcingle, or double wrapped latego. Suitable spurs are allowed but no whip of any kind may be carried or used by a competitor in a campdraft.
In a cutting event, the horse and rider select and separate a cow out of a small group. The cow then tries to return to its herd; the rider "puts his hand down" and leaves it entirely to the horse to keep the cow separated, a job the best horses do with relish, savvy, and style. A contestant has 2 ½ minutes to show the horse; typically three cows are cut during a run, although working only two cows is acceptable.
The saddle for cutting is one made specifically for cutting competition with a spacious flat seat and may have a breast collar or back cinch. The saddle blanket is typically hand woven wool. The bridle is usually a leather headstall with brow band, split ear or slot ear designs as options. The bit will need to be matched to both your and your horse's ability. A western-style curb chain or full leather curb strap and a pair of split reins are also needed. For protection the horse needs splint boots for the front legs and back boots or skid boots for the rear legs.