Dekota Caban takes the Biscuit to the North West

TOO CUTE: Dekota Caban and Biscuit in action at the Merry Muster. Photo: Derek Barry
TOO CUTE: Dekota Caban and Biscuit in action at the Merry Muster. Photo: Derek Barry

One of the stars of this year’s Mount Isa’s and Cloncurry rodeos was pint-sized Dekota Caban.

Seven-year-old Moree schoolgirl Dekota has been riding horses since before she could walk, says mother Wendy.

Dekota’s after-school ritual is less about cartoons and more about taking her trusty Shetland pony, Biscuit, for a run among the barrels.

While it's nice to want to be the fastest or the best, Wendy says she isn't fussed if her daughter comes away with a podium finish or not.

"I always say, they've gotta learn to lose before they can win," she said. "I like her not doing well - then she knows how to cope with it."

Herself a talented barrel rider, the 35-year-old says learning to steer a horse through the barrel formation teaches a child discipline and patience.

But it does help if the animal is as docile as shaggy-haired Biscuit, whose pleasant temperament is somewhat less of a mystery than his real age.

"We think he's 20-plus,” Wendy laughed. "He's been through all the grandkids and Dekota was the last one.”