Katie saddling up for first state championships
SHE is the powerhouse pee wee ready to make her mark on barrel racing’s big stage.
Katie Humble, 9, from Ridgelands will be among the 500 competitors taking part in the ABHA State Championships at Gracemere’s Central Queensland Livestock Exchange this weekend.
With $25,000 in cash and $20,000 in prizes including three trophy saddles on offer, it is the richest and biggest single-weekend barrel racing event ever held in Queensland.
ABHA Capricorn Coast Circuit president Suzy Patteson said the venue was in prime condition, and she was expecting some red-hot competition.
Queensland’s leading riders will be in action, and the Maturity and Futurity were both shaping up as epic contests.
She said on the other end of the competition scale, up-and-comer Humble would be one to watch this weekend.
“With a need for speed, Katie has been chewing up the barrel racing courses on her two horses, Spin N Roc and Betty,” Patteson said.
“She is very excited about running in her very first ABHA State Championships and has been quietly practising and keeping her horses fit and ready for this grand event.
“Katie is also going to have a go in the juniors and a crack in the big open divisions as well, riding both days.”
The state championships are the first major sporting competition to be held at CQLX’s undercover arena in 10 years.
Gavin Tickle, manager, AAM Regional Operations, said the arena had to be modified for the championships.
The selling pens that had been temporarily installed were removed and the flooring was transformed to make it suitable for horses.
That involved stripping back the current footing right down to the gravel, and carting in more than of 1000 cubic metres of sandy material.
Tickle said the buzz around the barrel racing championships had already sparked interest from other rural sport committees keen to use the venue.
“I have had phone calls from people involved in cutting, team penning, pony club, campdrafting and working dog trials,” he said.
Racing starts at 8am on Saturday and Sunday.