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Campdraft trio die in separate tragedies

CONDOLENCES and tributes are flowing through the campdraft community after a tragic trilogy, which has taken the lives of Peter Gesler, John Brekelmans and Bill Abraham.

Mr Gesler, 59, died along with former policewoman Rachel Whitford when the small plane he was piloting crashed on Saturday in South Australia.

Transport investigators are yet to determine the cause of the crash.

Australian Campdrafting Association president Hugh Philp, Clermont, said Mr Gesler was a savvy businessman with good ideas.

"If he didn't get an idea through, he would be back to the next meeting with more ideas," Mr Philp said. "The campdrafting community is devastated."

Mr Brekelmans collapsed and died on Sunday afternoon.

President of the National Cutting Horse Association Peter Shumack said Mr Brekelmans was meant to compete at the Darling Downs Cutting Club Futurity in Toowoomba.

"Everybody is just in shock," Mr Shumack said.

Paradise Lagoons Campdraft president Tom Acton said Mr Brekelmans had been part of the community for a long time, was a talented horseman and likeable.

Mr Abraham, of Texas, died in a hay bale accident at Beebo on the Texas-Yelarbon Road on Sunday afternoon. He was 65.

According to emergency service officials, an ambulance responded to reports a bale had fallen on a man and police later confirmed Mr Abraham, who was also a well-known polocrosse player, died at the scene.

Goondiwindi and District Campdraft Association president Stephen Wells said Mr Abraham's death was a shock.

"I still can't believe it myself," Mr Wells said.

"Everybody is very sad, he was well-known and well-liked."

Article courtesy of ACM and Queensland Country Life

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