Jamie and Chloe Underwood are two local kids lucky to share a passion for a sport they both excel at.
Campdrafting and Rodeo, two events that are - by their mother Katrina Underwood's own admission - not the typical sports many kids their age participate in.
At the beginning of 2019, 14-year-old Jamie and 11-year-old Chloe set a goal to try and qualify for the Australian Bushmen's Campdraft and Rodeo Association (ABCRA) finals. Something Katrina is thrilled to say they achieved.
"At the start of 2019 we set a goal to try and qualify for the finals. That meant lots of travelling to campdrafts and rodeos throughout the year," Katrina said.
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"It was a particularly tough year for campdrafting with the ongoing drought. Many drafts were cancelled and we were on waiting lists for quite a few also. Chloe was lucky enough to place in almost all drafts she competed in so her strike rate was pretty good."
Chloe had to be in the to be in the top 25 in the Under 13 (Junior) Campdraft category to qualify, she finished in 12th position. Jamie scraped in with a top 15 spot in has age group for rodeo. Not bad considering it's his first full year of competing and missed part of the year due to other commitments.
Katrina told the Mudgee Guardian that Jamie and Chloe's passion for campdraft and rodeo has taken them on plenty of long trips around and out of state.
"The highlights for Jamie were first at Weengallon in the steer ride and first at Gresford in the same event. He got a lot of second placings throughout the year as well and he also competed in mini bulls, which are basically just shrunken down, chip packet size versions of the real thing," she said.
Jamie's success has seen him attract a couple of sponsors who are hoping to help him further his rodeo successes, one being Mudgee business Hot Engineering.
"The campdraft for Chloe. She had a really good year. The camcamp draft is particularly hard this year, considering the weather conditions. A lot of [events] have been canceled, so a lot didn't even run. And the ones that did run had huge waiting lists, lots of people are trying to go to them, and obviously that can only take so many," Katrina said.
"She had a win at, Nabiac, which is kind of North Coast way. She had a win at Merriwa. It's called a St. Joseph's junior draft over there. She aldo got quite a few second placings as well at Gloucester and Coolah."
Katrina said a love for horses has always run in the family, but the transition to campdraft and rodeo was not without family controversy.
"We've been involved in horses all our lives. We've done a lot of showing like stock horse showing and things like that that and Chloe really enjoyed the camp draft side of it," Katrina said.
"It's the reason we thought we'd do more campdrafts in 2019 so she loves that and that seems to be her fit. I mean, there's so many disciplines with horses, she goes to Pony Club and all sorts of things.
"Jamie rides horses and drafts as well but he wanted to add shows when he was little. You know, poddy calf rides and all sorts of things and I let him when he was little, but as we got to 2018 the kids qualified for Sydney Royal with their horses.
"Jamie wanted...yeah. Jamie wanted to do the rodeo at Mudgee Show which was the weekend before. I put my foot down and said, 'mate, no way, if you get injured, you know, it's been a lot of hard work getting the horses ready for Sydney.'"
Katrina said the best part of it all is the people that you meet.
"It's just such a good group of people that all draft, it's really social and fun," she said.
"Both these sports are family orientated like other sports as well. But I have not come across a sport like rodeo. They're so much more supportive, especially to newcomers - Jamie is a newcomer - and the kids that are there competing help each other with the ropes. There's so many technical parts of it that I never even dreamed of. I haven't always - I was weary of rodeo in the past.
"It's quite amazing how supportive and what a good, you know, bunch of people we are involved with at the moment. And I think they're really trying to promote the kids in the sport and yeah, my kids are really into it, loving it. So that's how we ended up here."
The National Finals Campdraft have been cancelled due to the ongoing weather, but the family are still heading to Tamworth for the rodeo finals.