Local barrel rider set for US
BIGGENDEN rodeo specialist Bobbi-Jo Blake is bound for America and Italy after rising to the top of the heap in the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) competition.
Blake, 29, has assured herself a spot in the Barrel Racing World Championships in Perry, Georgia and the World Cup in northern Italy.
The initiations have capped off a sensational year for Blake, 29, who was kept busy hauling her prized horse Tanami to NBHA events across Queensland and northern New South Wales.
“Its been hard working full-time and spending all my weekends hauling and competition but I've enjoyed every minute of it,” she said.
“I really had my heart set on the World Championships so it's a bit of a fairy tale ending for me. A dream come true.”
The popular rodeo sport involves navigating a horse around three barrels arranged in a triangle in the fastest time possible.
Blake said her achievement would not have been possible without her champion horse Tanami which she raised and trained from a foal.
“She is a truly incredible horse with a definite knack for barrel racing,” Blake said.
“To be able to take out the competition with her was pretty special because I've watched her develop and mature as a horse.”
Blake will have to mount her international campaign without Tanami due to quarantine restrictions and cost but hopes to continue her success.
“I've been training on a variety of horses and trying to learn to develop quick relationships with horses and get them performing quickly,” she said.
“I'd prefer to be riding Tanami but there's not much I can do about it.”
The Metro Hotel will host a send-off party for Blake to help raise money towards the costs of competing overseas.
The cocktail party will be held on October 2 with tickets available for $20.