A DAY at the annual Landmark Classic Campdraft and Sale usually begins with a cup of tea before the competitions begin.
The week-long event at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre attracts thousands of horse breeders, buyers, competitors and vendors from across the country.
They make Tamworth their home during their stay, coming with fitted-out trucks that carry both their horses and sleeping quarters.
For Queensland man Mick Connolly, it’s a yearly pilgrimage to the event.
He and his wife have been in the business since the 1980s and have been coming to the sale for the past five years.
He brings about half a dozen horses for the end-of-week sale that draws thousands of prospective buyers.
He also enters some of his horses, bought from previous Landmark sales – a requirement of the event, in the campdraft.
It was Mr Connolly’s horse, Hazelwood Conman, that led on the day one open event under the guidance of rider Terry Hall.
Mr Connolly starts early to exercise his animals while his wife tends to the horses’ grooming needs.
“Then it’s a bit of time off during the day to get some lunch or do some shopping,” he said.
Dalby horse breeder and buyer Tom Fay was happy to escape to Tamworth from the Queensland floods.
It’s his second year at the event; buying last year and selling this year.
He and his wife, Jane, stay in their truck – their home on wheels – throughout the week.
It comes complete with a make-shift shower, kitchen and bed – but Mr Fay admitted it was fairly basic compared to some of the other attendees’ travelling homes.
The event also draws a raft of stock hands, including young Kerrod Williamson from Glen Innes.
It’s the 16-year-old’s first time to the Tamworth sale and he’s here to help his boss.
He helps look after five sale horse and three for the campdraft; washing, riding and getting them ready for the events.
Laurie Barton comes each year to help his son Mark, who is one of the event organisers.
Mr Barton works behind the scenes, preparing to usher cattle into the competition ring.
When he’s not at the campdraft, he can be found on his Kangaroo Valley farm on the NSW South Coast.
The Landmark Classic Campdraft and Sale concludes tomorrow.