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Campdrafter holds out hope for rain

REPRIEVE: Andrew and Lauren Winks from Bollon were in Warwick to compete in the campdraft, but the pressure in the arena was a welcome change from the tension of dealing with the prolonged dry in the state’s west.
REPRIEVE: Andrew and Lauren Winks from Bollon were in Warwick to compete in the campdraft, but the pressure in the arena was a welcome change from the tension of dealing with the prolonged dry in the state’s west. Toni Somes

SEASONED campdrafter Andrew Winks would be the first to admit a certain pressure comes with riding into the cut out yard.

But the Bollon cattleman also knows the pressure of the sport doesn't begin to compare with the tension of running a cattle property during a drought.

The western Queensland producer and his wife Lauren were in Warwick last week to compete in this year's draft.

For the couple and their three young daughters, the week away from home was a welcome reprieve after months of feeding cattle on their 40,500ha family properties Woolenna and Yendon.

"It is very dry. We've been feeding stock for months," Mr Winks said.

"We haven't had any meaningful rain for ages, for the past 18 months I think we have had just six-and-a-half inches.

"Normally we rely on 18 inches a year so we're well short of our average."

The subdued stockman said the next three months would be critical on their home front.

"If we don't get rain then we are going to have to start selling off our core breeders," Mr Winks said.

"We've been fortunate to be able to hold onto them this long.

"We've offloaded dry stock, but the country is really deteriorating now.

"We are staying optimistic though. It's the start of the storm season so we have a better chance of rain than we did a month or two ago."

Topics:  campdraft horse sports