Man From Snowy River Challenge

The Man from Snowy River Challenge began in 1995 and is the showcase event of the Man From Snowy River Bush Festival.  Highlighting the special relationship between horse and rider, it is a quest to find today’s Man from Snowy River.  Year after year the strength and depth of competition  has increased and with a huge prize pool up for grabs the competition is hard fought and intense.

When it comes to the test of good all round horsemanship, the Man from Snowy River Challenge is second to none.  Outstanding horsemanship and the skill of today’s Australian Stockmen and women are on display as they compete in the six grueling preliminary events set to challenge the most skilled and professional horse and rider teams. The Top Ten scoring riders move forward from the preliminary events to take centre stage on Sunday and earn their place in the final events.

Photo by James Vereker Photographics. Edenvale Orion & Kieran Davidson, Man from Snowy River Stockmans Challenge 2019 Open Champion.

Challenge Events

The Man from Snowy River Challenge Committee has built a Challenge that offers both horsemen and women a unique opportunity to compete over three days in a variety of disciplines.

Six Preliminary Events

  • Snowy River Stockhandling

Three head of cattle are drafted and moved through a set course in a quiet and controlled manner in a set time of 7 minutes.

  • Harrison’s Packhorse

Competitors pack their competition horse, ensuring the bags are evenly packed and balanced, then lead the packhorse through a set course, finishing with the pack still evenly balanced and unpack and unsaddle the packhorse.

  • Clancy’s Whip Crack

Competitors conduct a compulsory, mounted 30 seconds freestyle of whipcracking which must include a Sydney Flash. Then, at a fast canter and using best hand, competitors attempt to cut targets on a set course in a set time.

  • Banjo’s Bareback

Riding bareback and using their own choice of headgear, competitors complete in a set time, a course designed to demonstrate maximum skill, control and maneuverability and then perform a compulsory freestyle lasting 30 seconds.

  • Jimmy Scammell Horseshoeing

Open competitors attempt to competently and neatly shoe one hind and one fore hoof in a set time of 30 minutes. Junior competitors are to demonstrate the ability to prepare a shoe to one fore and one hind hoof, within a limit of 30 minutes. Only one horse handler is permitted entry into the horse shoeing shed with any one competitor.

  • Mountain Horseman’s Cross Country

Riding in the same stock saddle used throughout the competition, competitors complete a cross country course of approximately 2 km and 20 jumps.

Final Events

1. Paterson’s Brumby Catch
Finalists attempt to halter a horse in an arena within 3 minutes and demonstrate young horse handling skills and horsemanship.
2. Kosciusko Stocksaddle Buckjump
Using the same stock saddle and gear used throughout, finalists attempt to retain their seat on a bucking horse for 8 seconds.

Ladies Silver Brumby Catch
Finalists attempt to halter a horse in an arena within 3 minutes and demonstrate young horse handling skills and horsemanship.

Jack Riley Junior Final
The Top 3 Junior competitors attempt to highlight their skills and ability negotiating a set working pattern.

Previous Challenge Winners


  • 2021 Morgan Webb & Dolgwili Norman (by Bonlac Gigolo)
  • 2019 Kieran Davidson & Edenvale Orion
  • 2018 John Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2017 John Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2016 John Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2015 Bronson Macklinshaw Armidale NSW
  • 2014 Scott Bandy Tooma NSW
  • 2013 Scott Bandy Tooma NSW
  • 2012 David Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2011 Scott Bandy Tumut NSW
  • 2010 David Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2009 Morgan Webb Tumut NSW
  • 2007 Ryan Pendergast Narrandera NSW
  • 2006 Sam Baylis Roweena NSW
  • 2005 Geoff Willis Wagga Wagga NSW
  • 2004 Jason Leitch Taroom QLD
  • 2003 Jason Leitch Taroom QLD
  • 2002 Geoff Willis Wagga Wagga NSW
  • 2001 Ben Hall Goondiwindi QLD
  • 2000 Scott Bandy Tumut NSW
  • 1999 Ron Connley Omeo VIC & Barry Paton Tooma NSW
  • 1998 Ron Connley Omeo VIC
  • 1996 Scott Bandy Tumut NSW
  • 1995 Bill Willoughby Booleroo Centre SA


  • 2021 Emma O’Shea
  • 2019 Emma O’Shea
  • 2018 Emma O’Shea
  • 2017 Emma O’Shea
  • 2016 Emma O’Shea
  • 2015 Emma O’Shea
  • 2014 Emma O’Shea
  • 2013 Christy Connor
  • 2012 Kirby Nankervis
  • 2011 Malory Nankervis
  • 2010 Christy Connor
  • 2009 Christy Connor
  • 2007 Christy Connor
  • 2006 Sarah Connley
  • 2005 Sarah Connley & Megan Nankervis
  • 2004 Jess Newton
  • 2003 Julie Willoughby
  • 2002 Linda Adams
  • 2001 Jocelyn Paton
  • 2000 Linda Adams
  • 1999 Jocelyn Paton
  • 1998 Jocelyn Paton
  • 1997 ?
  • 1996 Jocelyn Paton
  • 1995 Tarina Connley


  • 2018 Travis Bandy Tooma NSW
  • 2017 Johnny Ward Holbrook NSW
  • 2016 Kelsie Lupson Beechworth VIC
  • 2015 Johnny Ward Holbrook NSW
  • 2014 Nick Roe Rosewood NSW
  • 2013 William Harrison Burrumbuttock NSW
  • 2012 William Harrison Burrumbuttock NSW
  • 2011 Lane Pendergast Book Book NSW & William Harrison Burrumbuttock NSW
  • 2010 Ben Donehue Singleton NSW
  • 2009 Daryl Baines Dalgety NSW
  • 2007 John Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2006 Morgan Webb Tumut NSW
  • 2005 Rhys Angland Wantabadgery NSW
  • 2004 Tyler Pendergast Tumut NSW
  • 2003 David Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2002 David Mitchell Tooma NSW
  • 2001 Ryan Pendergast Tumut NSW
  • 2000 Jim Laverty Lucyvale VIC
  • 1999 Mark Paterson Tumut NSW
  • 1998 Jim Laverty Lucyvale VIC


Phone: 02 6076 1992



Charlie Keegan Creative