Classic News, Performance Home Page News And Events

Round 2 competition heats up at the Nutrien Classic

Round 2 competition heats up at the Nutrien Classic

The competition at the 2024 Nutrien Classic is increasingly exciting as the event nears the halfway point at Tamworth’s AELEC, with the second rounds of competition being completed and the first final showcasing some of the best horsemanship Australia has to offer.

Somewhat cooler conditions on Monday morning were welcomed by competitors in Round 2 of the Nutrien Classic Campdraft, with a number of solid scores put on the board. Scott Edwards on the mare COOKFAMILY MIDNIGHTS GIFT (Hazelwood Conman x Duloc Midnightrun) owned by Washpool Pastoral won the round with a huge score of 91!

Then it was onto Round 2 of the Martins Stock Haulage Open Campdraft, where two competitors set the arena on fire with scores of 92 –Troy Palmer on his and Fiona’s EBS BLUETOONZ (Ima Smooth Blue Cat x EB S Eucalypt) and 20-year-old Kate Southern on her mare EBS TOUCHMIASOMEMORE (One Roan Peptos x Mia Cdee). Will Durkin continued what’s been an exciting few days already aboard Evan & Kim Acton’s beautiful mare HAZELWOOD CONSPIRACY (Hazelwood Conman x Spin N Acres) – adding a 91 to their Round 1 score of 92, to lead the aggregate on 183. However, with only 3 points separating the top five combinations heading into the Thursday night final, the competition will be fierce.

The annual showcase of stallions with progeny in the 2024 Classic Sale began with Round 1 of the Dalgety Animal Health Stallion Shootout competition this afternoon. Big scores are already flowing and it was a good afternoon to be on a black Conman stallion – with two past Classic Campdraft champions scoring 92 in Mat Holz on Graeme & Jody Rozynski’s NONDA LAST FRONTIER (Hazelwood Conman x Nonda Dottie Papunya) and Rob Leach on his HAZELWOOD CONGRESSMAN (Hazelwood Conman x Duloc Midnight Run). One more outdoor run for Round 2 tomorrow will be a further decider ahead of the crowd-favourite indoor arena cut out competition final on Friday night.

Action continued in the Prydes Easifeed Champion Rider Title – with Round 2 of the National Campdraft Council of Australia (NCCA) event following on as the final outdoor event of the day. Individual riders representing the Australian Campdraft Association (ACA), Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft & Rodeo Association Ltd (ABCRA), Gippsland Campdrafting Association Inc. (GCA) and the Southern Campdrafting Association Ltd (SCA) form teams and compete on behalf of a charity chosen by their association. This afternoon it was ABCRA rider Adam Sadler on SWIFT SPIN and ACA’s Ben Hall on CHISUM CASH split the Round 2 win with scores of 88!

With Campdraft action finished for the day, it was time to head to the indoor arena for the first final of the 2024 Nutrien Classic – the Prydes Easifeed Australian Performance Horse Challenge. Warming up with the annual Happy Hour sponsored by Coverdrive Promotions, spectators were full of anticipation as they prepared for a showcase of some of the best hands in the industry. As always, it was a nail biter to the end – as we watched some of the top Challenge horses and riders in the nation give it their all, in front of judges Huon Smith and Hugh Miles.

It was, as always, excruciatingly close in the end – with the wet work element of runs proving a true leaderboard decider – but it was the quality combination of Leah Read and LETHAL KING COLE, leaders of the field heading into the final, who claimed victory with a stunning 174 point performance (a breathtaking 90 point Dry Work showcase and 84 for Wet Work)! They topped the scoreboard with an Aggregate score of 341.5.

The Young sire by NRR Cat King Cole, out of Tassas Lethal Spin and owned by the “Challenge Syndicate” (a powerhouse partnership between Peter Shakespeare, Matthew Crane & Leah) was described by Peter Shakespeare as a “legend in the making”. An accurate description for the young sire who was purchased back in 2021 as a 2 year old colt for $80,000, from breeder and vendor Brydie Hughes.

LETHAL KING COLE won not only the Challenge Champion buckle, but also takes home $10,000 cash, trophy rug & fly mask from Easy On Rugs, service fee to Boonara Mentor thanks to Boonara Performance Horses and of course the 2024 Navaho trophy horse trailer – which in black and bright green will sure be a standout on the drive home!

The bay stallion also won the $1,000 AQHA incentive for the highest-placed registered Australian Quarter Horse in the event and proud Breeder Brydie Hughes also took home an extra $1,000 thanks to the AQHA.

It was close amongst the placegetters behind Leah on the scoresheet, with more exciting up-and-coming sires reigning supreme. 2nd place was Emma Webb on another young sire in WESTERN ACRES (Acres Destiny x One Moore Diva) owned by Emma and husband Morgan with a 162.75 final round score taking the total to 325.75. 3rd place was previous Challenge champion Josh Smith on the 2FL Syndicate’s entry in PCD REYNING METAL (Metallic Cat x Reyn On Me) with a score of 158 for an Aggregate of 324.75.

There were more prizes amongst top combinations throughout the 25 other finalists, with the Metallic Storm Syndicate Young Guns Incentive, for the highest scoring Young Gun (aged 15-25) in the Challenge, awarded to Darby Ryan on SMART TASSAREY (Tassa N Smart x Reydeo Drive) who had a standout 155.5 point performance for a total of 303.75. This popular incentive boasts a total cash prize of $7,000 and the owners of SMART TASSAREY in the Ryan family & Country Trucker Caps take home $3,500 alongside a service fee to Metallic Storm.

The $10,000 Gelding Breeders Incentive, sponsored by AELEC & Tamworth Regional Council and awarded to the three highest scoring geldings in the event, was won Riley Gibson’s BELJAY ROYAL HENRY (One Time Royalty x Henrys Gal). The bay gelding scored 160.75 for a total 314.75 and 4th place overall, under a Tamworth local rider in Scott McNaughton.

Highest-placed registered Australian Stock Horse went to ROSELTS MISTY MOON (Millungeras Moonbeam x Barnetts Misty), a mare owned by the Grills family of Berragoon ASH Stud ridden by Emma Webb, on a total of 305.5. They head home with $500 cash and a trophy rug thanks to the Australian Stock Horse Society.

Congratulations to all finalists in this years Prydes EasiFeed Australian Performance Horse Challenge – both judges described the night of action as a joy to watch and spectators wholeheartedly agreed. A breakdown of full results are available on the Nutrien Equine website.

Day 5 on Tuesday will welcome the beginning of Sale Horse Preworks, with the first 320 lots being showcased from 8am. At Preworks conclusion, the third and final round of the Prydes Easifeed Champion Rider Title will be followed by Round 2 of the Dalgety Animal Health Stallion Shootout.

Entry to all Nutrien Classic events is FREE and full results, sale catalogue, bidding information and live webcast of the 2024 Nutrien Classic can be found at .