Local cowboy Tim Childs has had plenty to celebrate in the new year with his horse, Jewel N Half, winning the 2017 Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association (ABCRA) Team Roping Heading Horse of the Year.
Jewel N Half, known as Jewels when not competing, is an eight-year-old gelding by Jewel N Spin, a stallion owned by Allan and Sheryll Larkins out of a foundation TB mare owned by Adrian and Jean Hodges.
Childs is incredibly proud of the horse, who has taken out the title in his first year of rodeo competition.
The ABCRA is one of Australia’s only and largest organisations administering the sports of campdrafting and rodeo under one entity.
Jewels competed in several of their events in 2017, accumulating enough points throughout the year to take out the title.
Team roping in rodeo events features a steer and two mounted riders, a header and a heeler.
The role of the header is to rope the steer's horns and turn the steer away from the heeler, who then ropes the steer’s hind legs.
Team roping events are only considered complete when both horses are facing the steer with both front feet on the ground and with the ropes dallied and tight.
Jewels was initially bought by Mr Childs as he was looking for a work horse he could use on cattle.
“I was looking for work horses because I had cattle on the road and Adrian said he had a green broke three year old that was worth a look,” Childs said.
“I rode him and liked that he could walk like hell and travelled far when I loped him and we loaded up that day.”
Jewels immediately showed potential in roping and cattle work.
Mr Childs said he knew Jewels was going to do well with cattle after the very first day as he had lots of power, a cool head, flexibility and was nice to ride.
After gaining a few years of experience working with cattle, Mr Childs decided to start him in the arena two years ago with the help of Greg Frewin.
“We rope off him most days a week at home,” he said. “He runs hard and handles a lot of steers with ease and always gives his all, no matter where we are.”