Balonne becomes Australia's second largest Cutting Futurity
CUTTING: Leaving the motel in the dark to start cattling at 6.30am and coming home after dark was well worth it for the new committee who ran the Banks on the Balonne Futurity.
More than 400 entries competed in the Balonne River Cutters event on the weekend, with contestants travelling from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and New Caledonia.
Running over seven days at the St George Showgrounds, Balonne River Cutters secretary Nadean McKenna said preparing 2300 head of local cattle was absolutely worth it.
"We formed a new committee about six weeks ago to pull together a fantastic event,” McKenna said.
"The numbers were up 50 per cent from last year's event.
"We had more than 400 entries, but then you've got family, friends, helpers, lopers and the locals who support it and come and watch.
"There would've been more than 1000 people there.
"We ended up running over sevens days, originally it was six but our entries were that big that we had no choice but to extend it by one more day.”
Although Balonne River Cutters didn't come home with the major prizes, McKenna said the event was fantastic for the town itself and for cutting to thrive locally.
"It's pretty hard to get wins when you're running the shows yourself, but what I can say is the biggest futurity in Australia is in Tamworth, which is the NCHA - we would now be the second largest in Australia after one year,” McKenna said.
"We just had massive entries, we had 76 in the open futurity and that's unheard of.
"If you think of the 1000 people staying at the showgrounds, and that's a rough estimate, all those people have family, staff and lopers that go with them.
"All of them are spending money on groceries, nights at the local pubs, fuel. Right across the board St George would've thrived.”
After the success of this year's event, McKenna said they were already planning for next year and invited any new sponsors to get on board.
"A huge thank you to all our major sponsors, volunteers, the local P&C, the judges - anyone who volunteered their time we are very grateful for,” she said.
1. Spoonfula Hope - Aaron Paul Wheatley 222
2. Hard Hat Ashlee - Dean Holden 219
3. Full Metal Jacket - Phil Dawson 217.5
Snafflebit Open Futurity
1. One Knight Stand - Christopher Ware 222
2. Smooth Groove - Jim Maccallum 216
3. Spins Double Image - Jim Maccallum 216
Non Pro Futurity
1. Have Kit Kat - Amelia Servin 218
2. Chulas Superliner - Erin Lee Lyons 213.5
3. Built For Sin - Dean Jones 210
Non Pro Classic Challenge
1. Triple Six - Dean Jones 216 and Driving Miss Cherry - Dru Langdon O'Keefe 216
3. Lady Too Suen - Amelia Servin 214.5
Non Pro Derby
1. Tornado Alley - Amelia Servin 218
2. Ridin High - Dean Jones 213
3. Reyving Lunacat - Mark Ruff 209.5