Monto's Ashleigh Johnston competes on Freckles.
Monto's Ashleigh Johnston competes on Freckles. Anastassia Perets

Monto’s next gen in light at challenge

ASHLEIGH Johnston was filled with butterflies as she and horse Freckles took centre stage on May 8.

The 12-year-old was competing in the under 13 years junior challenge in Monto.

It was her first time being a competitor in any horse event.

"My whole family does it so I decided to do it," she said.

"When we walked in and Freckles saw the cow, he just livened up.

"I was just thinking, 'don't stuff up'."

The Monto rider had great support, with three other local girls taking part in the same category.

Sarah Salisbury, 12, jumped at the opportunity to come and take part when she found out Ashleigh will be there.

She spent the two previous days performing with BJ Horsemanship at the Mundubbera Show, but happiest on a horse, Sarah could not pass up another chance to go riding.

"I've never done a challenge before, I learned the rules a few hours before the event started," she said.

"I didn't place but I think it went pretty well.

"Hopefully I'll do another challenge in the future."

Monto's top placer in the event was Lucy Southern, who finished fifth.

The nine-year-old said her nerves really calmed down after she got to a good start.

"In the pattern when I was trotting I got nervous, but then it went away and with the cow as I was coming around I got nervous, but then it went well," she said.

With a busy month behind her particularly competing at the Monto and District Show, Lucy has more events within reach.

"We're going to a state horse show in Capella in June," she said.

Competing alongside Lucy was her sister and rising star Bella.

Bella, 7, was the youngest competitor in the category.

"It was a lot of fun," she said.


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