Meet Clarke Creek campdrafting young guns, Emily and Tom Wallace

Campdraft up and comers Emily and Tom Wallace

Emily Wallace and her mare Jessio.

Emily Wallace and her mare Jessio.


Meet some of CQ's rising campdraft talent.


He's as calm and collected as she is meticulous and dedicated, and together these campdrafting siblings make quite a remarkable combination.

Meet Emily and Tom Wallace.

They may be only teenagers but these horse-mad siblings from Clarke Creek are rising through the campdrafting ranks to give even the professionals a run for their money.

After a massive year on the circuit the pair have placed in multiple campdrafts, won cutouts, and both broken their maiden rider status' within a month of each other at just 18 and 16 years of age.

Like many bush kids, Emily and Tom could just about ride a horse before they could walk.

Growing up on their family's cattle station at Clarke Creek, the pair were always surrounded by horses and cattle and spent most of their early life helping their parents, Kerry and Stewart, on the property.

"The kids didn't have many choices growing up about helping with the cattle and horses. Things had to be done so they just came along right from about two years old," Kerry said.

"We always made it work and took the time to make sure the kids could be part of the mustering and cattle work."

Tom, a keen horseman and farmer, currently balances his time between boarding school, campdrafting and driving tractors for his uncle and auntie on their cropping block at Middlemount.

"Tommy is a horse and machinery lover. I feel like three days of the week he's a farmer and the rest he's a horseman and out campdrafting so he's got a fairly busy schedule," Emily said.

In her first year out of school, Emily is now working full time at home after returning from a stint at a cutting stable down south.

"It got very dry here at home, we hadn't had any significant rain for quite a long time so I came home to help Mum and Dad out. I've been here ever since; mustering, weaning, branding, working at home and campdrafting on weekends."

Tom Wallace putting one around on his horse Topspin Cat at Nebo Campdraft.

Tom Wallace putting one around on his horse Topspin Cat at Nebo Campdraft.

Emily and Tom were exposed to campdrafting from a young age and began competing in mini drafts as soon as they were off the lead.

"The kids have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to ride some nice horses while they were growing up, generally Stewart and I would have put the miles on them and then passed them onto the kids to burn around on," Kerry said.

"Nowadays Stewart and I get the most enjoyment out of watching the kids going around at a campdraft.

"They've both learnt to read different breeds of cattle and understand handling them differently."

Emily with her father Stewart, and auntie Lisa at Clarke Creek Campdraft.

Emily with her father Stewart, and auntie Lisa at Clarke Creek Campdraft.

Emily can still remember the excitement of winning her first juvenile draft on her big buckskin mare, Jessio.

"It was so exciting, it was the first thing I had ever won and the feeling was great," she said.

"It was a great memory for me; an all round good draft and the whole family was there.

"I just love the sport. It's such a great family environment and very social. It's a great sport for families to have fun and compete."

Emily Wallace competing on her mare Sassy Cat. Emily and Sassy won the Ladies at Nebo CQ Campdraft, breaking maiden status for both horse and rider.

Emily Wallace competing on her mare Sassy Cat. Emily and Sassy won the Ladies at Nebo CQ Campdraft, breaking maiden status for both horse and rider.

Emily credits her parents and grandfather Allan for the knowledge and understanding of horses she gained growing up.

"Mum, Dad and grandad have shown me a lot over the years and taught me how to communicate with a horse and ride a horse in the correct way, they've just shown me so much," she said.

"You've got to have a good connection with your horse, and your horse has got to love what it does too."

Although success doesn't come without hard work, Emily and Tom have certainly put in the miles to get to where they are today.

"The best piece of advice I've received is 'if you are persistent, you will get it, if you are consistent, you will keep it'," Emily said.

"In the average week leading up to a draft we ride all our horses. We have a little cut out yard that we go down and turn a few cows on to get them ready for the weekend."

Kerry said Emily has always been meticulous with her riding preparation and the performances of her horses and analyses every ride or run.

"She would be sunburnt and dehydrated but you couldn't get her off her horse," Kerry said.

"Em has always lived and breathed the horses and was always easy to find at the stables. Tom's horses love him, and he loves them, but his bum is usually on a tractor, bobcat, truck, motorbike or in the tipper doing anything and everything machinery."

Tom said while he's often had to learn the hard way, his parents have taught him many valuable lessons over the years that have helped shape him into the rider he is today.

"Mum and Dad left my horse at home one weekend when I was about eight years old because I didn't ride it all week. Thinking back that taught me that there are no shortcuts and you have to do the work," he said.

Over the years Tom has bounced between a few different hobbies, but has always found solace in campdrafting, and relishes the challenge the sport presents.

"I love campdrafting because we all do it together as a family, and I like having the opportunity to compete against the adults as well as my mates," he said.

Emily said her parents have been her biggest inspiration with developing her confidence and ability as a rider.

"You've got to have fun. There's no point going if you're wanting to win all the time. It's a good sport to get into and very enjoyable, and when you've got the right horse you know you'll have a lot of fun," she said.

Kerry said the biggest rivalry in the Wallace camp these days is having to negotiate horses away from the kids for the weekend.

"Some weekends Stewart and I feel like the truck driver, cow picker, food gatherer and washing ladies, but the best thing is we are doing it together, having fun and spending time with our friends," she said.

"We do have a family mantra though, if you pay the nominations, you get the prizemoney. Emily pays all her own nominations and I think Tom is starting to think he should pay his own now too."

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