Darcey Liesegang and Huon Johnson are entrants in the 2010 Junior Cowgirl and Tiny Tot competition.
Darcey Liesegang and Huon Johnson are entrants in the 2010 Junior Cowgirl and Tiny Tot competition.

Young cowboy gears up for Rodeo

A HORSE called Porridge and three years practice are what young cowboy Huon Johnson is counting on going into this year's Warwick Show and Rodeo Tiny Tot competition.

At just seven, the Central State School student has two years competition experience behind him.

He clinched the horsemanship prize in 2008 and the Master Personality last year.

But next month he is hoping a well-behaved new pony could land him the major sash.

Yesterday Huon confessed getting up in front of a crowd of “about 5000” last year had made him jittery.

When his mum Nadine gently corrected his audience estimate, he laughed cheekily: “All I know was there were a lot of people.”

For his mother, a seasoned rodeo rider and a former Miss Rodeo Queen for south-east Queensland, the competition was simply about developing confidence and public speaking skills.

“The boots, hats and horses are the fun part, but self esteem and learning how to speak are important life skills,” Ms Johnson said.

While 12-year-old Darcey Liesegang is also looking forward to the buckles and boots, she is keen to promote the sport her family have been involved with her years.

“My dad was a bull rider and I have always thought one day I would try barrel racing,” the Allora schoolgirl said.

But this year she is content to try her hand at Miss Junior Cowgirl.

Modesty is Darcey's strong point, yet she is confident she'll do okay in the horsemanship section thanks to a smart quarter horse gelding called The Real McCoy.

“I play polocrosse on him, but he's done roping and steer wrestling so he's more experienced in the arena than me, so hopefully we'll go OK.”


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