Historic Eidsvold charity cattle drive wraps up

THE Eidsvold Charity Cattle Drive concluded on Saturday, with 330 head of cattle crossing the Burnett River and entering the Eidsvold Saleyards.

Twelve paying riders participated in the drive, along with several volunteers, who all rode around 70km over the six day trip.

Eidsvold Charity Cattle Drive Committee chairman Bruce Tye said the event had gone well.

"It's been successful for us," Mr Tye said.

"(The biggest challenge was) the unknown, going in and getting right to the end.

"It was like driving a mob of ducks through a thicket, you just don't know how you're going to go."

Mr Tye said he did not realise the attention the drive would receive from the wider community.

"We just don't realise until we get here when people like the (media) are waiting for us," he said.

"We're just concentrating on what we're doing.

"To come back and find out that you're the item on the radio is a good thing."

Jim King was one of several paid riders on the trip and travelled over 400km to be a part of the trip.

"It has been a beautiful workload of people," Mr King said.

"I like to support this sort of thing.

"As soon as I heard Ron Bligh (one of the head drovers) was involved, I had to be a part of it."

Eidsvold local Toby Hamilton was one of the volunteers on the trip and said he had learnt a lot on it.

"I have learnt a lot about everything, about the old times of driving," he said.

"My great, great grandfather was a drover and he's followed the exact same route that we are following today.

"I find it absolutely humbling and honouring that I'm following as his great, great grandson."

Mr Hamilton said he learnt new techniques that he could use in his job as a contract musterer.

"In mustering terms you go out and gather the cattle and you bring them to the yards before lunchtime," he said.

"Droving is a completely different concept in some cases; you walk the cattle in the morning and feed them out after lunch.

"To me that is a bit different, but over this drive I've learnt a lot about how the old fellas used to it, because it isn't about getting you're cattle from point A to point B as quickly as you can.

"It's about getting cattle from point A to point B full."

There was only one major incident during the drive, with one rider falling off their rearing horse.

The RACQ CareFlight helicopter attended the scene and the 68-year-old male was airlifted to Toowoomba Hospital.

He was later discharged.

The drive was raising funds for the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

So far, at least $10,000 has been raised from the sale of 10 heifers involved in the drive, though the rest of the donated funds are still being counted.


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