DRIVEN AMBASSADOR: Rural Ambassador and Barrel Race organiser Tsara Hogno has been competing at shows for 12 years.
DRIVEN AMBASSADOR: Rural Ambassador and Barrel Race organiser Tsara Hogno has been competing at shows for 12 years. Jack Lawrie

The best adrenaline rush

OUT on the Monto Show track Sunday morning, Tsara Hogno felt the freedom that comes from riding.

"It's the best adrenaline rush there is,” she said.

Tsara was on her horse, Lobos, a rising ten-year old Australian stockhorse.

Bred to play polo, he was sold on to take part in barrel races when he grew too tall.

Well-tempered and quiet, Lobos is able to carry experienced riders, as well as juniors without difficulty.

Tsara has been competing in show events for more than half her life.

The show society, seeing her long-standing participation in show riding, thought Tsara would be the best person to organise the Show Barrel Races.

They also put her name in as Monto Show's rural ambassador.

"I have a well-rounded knowledge of how the organising behind the scenes of shows goes on, so they asked if I could apply, which I did,” Tsara said.

"I've been going to shows since I was a little kid, I used to love watching the horses go around and when I was big enough I started competing.”

The rural ambassador award, open to men and women aged between 20 and 30, is intended to highlight strong involvement in the local show, understanding of regional issues and affinity for rural spirit.

Tsara embodies these qualities not only in her eagerness to help out with show events, but also her connection with horse riding.

"The way I feel when I ride them; it's that sense of freedom where all your worries just lift away,” she said.

"I've been riding in show events for over 12 years.”

Outside of riding, Tsara spent most of the time managing the event.

"It was pretty successful, there were some stressful moments but that comes with organising show barrel race rather than a normal one,” Tsara said.

"You get a lot of people that just come in on the day to nominate, so then you're trying to organise people in the draws.”

The barrel races had a lot of riders from the North Burnett region, as well as the coastal areas like Bundaberg and Gin Gin.

Being part of the divisional barrel races, Tsara said the atmosphere was positive.

"Everyone's encouraging everyone to have a great time and do their best, but there was some tough competition especially among the juniors.”

In July, Tsara will represent Monto in the Sub-chamber finals against other Rural Ambassadors in a comprehensive judging process.

If successful, she would go onto Brisbane at the Ekka to compete for the State Finals, and then to a State Royal Show for Nationals.

Tsara was modest about her chances in the running.

"I'd like to say I have good chances, but until I get there I won't know my competition so I'm going to try and prepare myself to the rest of my ability.”

With Barrel Racing in Monto all clear for now, Tsara's next race will be District Seven at Dallarnil with the National Barrel Horse Association May 14.


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