THE most prestigious trophy in campdrafting, the Warwick Gold Cup, is now made by Warwick-based artisan Trevor Young and worth in excess of $4000.
The very first recorded rodeo events at Warwick took place at the 1906 show but it was not until the show society owned its own grounds that official rodeo records were taken in 1929.
Before then, the Warwick Show was held at Queens Park on the northern edge of town beside the Condamine River.
The organising committee of the time, the Darling Downs Horticultural and Agricultural Association, Warwick, under the leadership of JHS Barnes Esq, of Canning Downs, decided 1929 was a clean start on the "new showgrounds” and all official records date from then.
In the years leading up to 1926, relations between the Darling Downs Horticultural and Agricultural Association and the Shire Council were rather strained.
The show people wanted more say over the grounds, the facilities and amenities, however the council was not prepared to give them all they wanted.
It appears a referendum was held by the council to assess the opinion of ratepayers as to who should control the showgrounds - and the council won.
This did not go down well with the DDH and AAW, who immediately set about looking for an alternative venue where they alone had control.
The show committee was later donated a piece of land on the southern side of town. Here they could run a show on their own land without council interference.
Following the success of its new venture, the committee decided it was worth the risk of holding a separate, stand-alone rodeo the following year, 1929.
The events held at the first rodeo in 1929, then called the Warwick Rodeo Bushman's Carnival, included the Bullock Riding Championships of Australia with prizemoney of £11 ($22) and a cup, the Buckjumping Championship of Australia with prizemoney of £16 ($32) and a trophy, Bullock Throwing, Trick Riding, Flag Races, Grand Parade of Mounted Stockmen, Best Type of Stockhorse and Roman Race.
In 1931, a special gold cup was made for the winner of the open campdrafting competition at Warwick Rodeo in honour of the then Governor of Queensland, Sir John Goodwin, who made the presentation.
Winners of the three open cattle drafting competitions were then presented with a gold cup and from that day to this, the Warwick Gold Cup is the pinnacle of campdraft competition in Australia, the most prized possession of those who have won it since.
It is known now as the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting with more riders and more prizemoney than any other campdraft in Australia.
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