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.”