20 seconds from glory

Less than 20 seconds is all gun junior barrel racer Dakota Michaelis needs to take out the Australian Professional Rodeo Association’s Junior National Barrel Racing Championships this month.

The teenager is the only South Australian to make the cut to attend this year’s event, to be held in Emerald, Queensland on July 10-11.

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The two-day competition will see the top 10 riders compete for the title, with the event being run in conjunction with the annual Emerald rodeo.

Dakota, 17, is a Year 12 student at Xavier College, and has been riding since almost before she could walk.

She competed in her first rodeo at the tender age of five and hasn’t looked back since. 

Horses are her family, her relaxation, her sport and to some extent her income.

She gives riding lessons in her free time and helps out her parents, Kym and Candy, with their horse training enterprise, to help pay for entry fees, equipment and everything else horse related.

This is Dakota’s last year as a junior, she turns 18 in October, so she’s keen to leave her mark before rising to the ranks of competing amongst the open women barrel racers.

Together with her seven-year-old horse, Foxy Red Ruffles – Foxy to those that know her – Dakota has taken part in more than 20 rodeos and associated events to make it to the championships.

“I love barrel racing,” she commented.

“I love that it’s fair, because it’s based only on your time.

“It’s me and my horse.”

Unfortunately Dakota won’t be taking Foxy to Queensland with her but will instead ride a friend’s horse, Stretch, which she hopes will bring great success.

Best of luck Dakota, let the dirt fly.

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