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


Based on an Australian tradition of packing through the mountains; competitors pack their horses and navigate an obstacle course resembling bush terrain. Open competitors are required to shoe and pack their horse securely before navigating the course, then returning to unpack.


Competitors complete a course riding bareback within a set time, demonstrating maximum skill, control, and manoeuvrability of their horse before showcasing a 60 second freestyle.


Competitors prepare and shoe one foot of their nominated horse demonstrating their ability to maintain the horses welfare if they were to lose a shoe/s when traveling across bush terrain – ensuring their steed could complete the journey sure footed.


A showcase of one of Australia’s true horse disciplines born on the plains of Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales over a 100 years ago. A rider on horseback ‘cuts out’ one beast from the mob of cattle in the yard or the ‘camp’ and block and turn the beast at least two or three times to prove to the judge that they have the beast under control; then take it out of the yard and through a course around pegs involving right and left hand turns in a figure eight, before guiding it through two pegs known as ‘the gate’.


A combination event of two classic events- the whip crack and cross country. Competitors navigate a bush style obstacle course that will have whip crack targets throughout combined with cross country jumps. There is a set time to complete the course demonstrating horsemanship at the highest standard.


Based on the working cow horse event, competitors process to work a released cow in a series of sections; a boxing section, ‘cutting the cow’, once the rider thinks the cow is ready – they proceed into the next section, which is blocking the beast down the fence, and then on to maneuver the beast into a figure of 8 pattern to complete their run

Final Events

1. Wild Hors Catch
Finalists attempt to halter a horse in an arena within 3 minutes and demonstrate young horse handling skills and horsemanship.
2. 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 Wild Horse Catch
Finalists attempt to halter a horse in an arena within 3 minutes and demonstrate young horse handling skills and horsemanship.

Junior Final
The Top 5 Junior competitors attempt to highlight their skills and ability by working a beast.

Previous Challenge Winners


  • 2023 Travis Bandy & Weapon (by Hazelwood Conman)
  • 2022 Morgan Webb & Dolwili Norman ((by Bonlac Gigolo)
  • 2021 Morgan Webb & Dolgwili Norman (by Bonlac Gigolo)
  • 2019 Kieran Davidson & Edenvale Orion
  • 2018 John Mitchell & Halls Chickenman (by Hazelwood Conman)
  • 2017 John Mitchell & Halls Chickenman (by Hazelwood Conman)
  • 2016 John Mitchell & Halls Chickenman (by Hazelwood Conman)
  • 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



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