Maurice Monckton and Rockstar score 82 in the Cunningham Campdraft.
Maurice Monckton and Rockstar score 82 in the Cunningham Campdraft. Gerard Walsh

One saddle to another

MAURICE Monckton has traded life as a jockey for a round or two of campdrafting and reckons he still gets an adrenalin rush in competition.

Being taller than most jockeys, he struggled to stay under the weight so rode for a year in Darwin where the minimum weight was 55kg.

"It was only 51kg or 52kg at the time in Queensland," he said.

He rode a few winners in Darwin where there were races every second or third week and 100-odd in the bush in Queensland.

"I was up to 60kg which was way too heavy," Maurice said.

"There was too much sweating to get my weight down."

His best win was on board the Rod Hilton-trained Grey Ray in the Goondiwindi Cup.

When he retired from riding in races, Monckton did some track riding.

He joined the Killarney Cricket Club to play Warwick fixtures and played in some Australia Day Cricket Carnivals where he has a best score of 80.

With Killarney not fielding a team in this season's Warwick cricket competition and a campdraft on the weekend of the cricket carnival, his whole sporting focus is now to do with horses and family.

On Saturday, Maurice scored 82 in the first round of the maiden at the Cunningham Campdraft on six-year-old gelding Rockstar.

He missed out on a score in the final but was happy with a career-best score and to qualify for the final

As for the chance to compete one day in the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting - the Warwick Gold Cup - he said maybe.

"I just want to do my best," he said.

On Sunday, his 14-year-old son Zac rode Rockstar and was presented with the encouragement award in the juvenile feature campdraft. Zac also competed on his own horse.

When it is time to go to a campdraft or a Warwick Hack and Pony Club monthly rally, the Monckton family leaves home at Elbow Valley with five horses in the back of the truck.

Each family member has a horse - Maurice, his wife Kellie who is also a retired jockey, sons Zac and Joel and daughter Abbey.

The minimum age for campdrafters is eight but six-year-old Abbey had her horse at the Cunningham Campdraft so she could compete in sporting events.

Maurice and Kellie compete in the seniors section at the Warwick Hack and Pony Club which means all five compete on rally days.

While they don't travel the team penning circuit, the Monckton family tries team penning when it is at the Warwick Showgrounds.

Late last year, Joel was in a winning junior penning team with Tracey Madsen and Callum Miller.

Maurice admits he doesn't miss being a jockey.

"It is too dangerous. You see the danger of it when you are not there," he said.

He has no regrets about his time on the little saddle.


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