MADDIE Spanjers of Mundaring is heading to Texas in June to represent Australia at the Youth Rodeo Association Finals.
She will be competing in barrel racing, breakaway roping, western bending plus other events such as junior ribbons and junior figure 8s.
Erin Spanjers said her daughter first started riding when she was about six-years-old and started competing in western events when she was about 10.
She said Maddie’s first lessons were with an English riding instructor who held some western days and this sparked her interest in western riding.
Now she is a regular competitor in breakaway roping, dummy roping western bending and barrel racing events run monthly by the Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association’s WA Junior Rodeo Association.
This year Maddie, 14, is the only Western Australian rider selected by the newly re-formed Australian Junior Rodeo Association to attend the Youth Rodeo Association Finals in Gonzales.
Her mother said people were invited to submit expressions of interest to the association, which focuses on youth development in the sport of rodeo, and then a panel made their selection.
When she goes to Texas to compete Maddie will have a week before the finals start to get used to a lease horse.
Maddie is the Bianca Hertel Barrel Racing Scholarship holder for 2017, which as well as $1000 prizemoney includes tuition and guidance from Bianca Hertel.
She will also receive other prizes as part of the scholarship, which requires her to compete in a minimum of eight rodeos during the 2017 season.