The title that almost didn't happen for Widgee local rider
HORSES: A Widgee rider was left stranded at Goomeri while travelling down to Tamworth last month but she managed to win the junior 3D title.
Jessie Dale was travelling for the Australian Barrel Horse Association national championship but did not think she was going to make it when she was left stranded at Goomeri.
"I was going down with a friend from Widgee and just as we got into Goomeri the car engine blew up," she said.
"My friend ended up getting a lift down there with her aunty but my horse Roy and I were stranded on the side of the road.
"I was so stressed, I started posting on Facebook asking people if they could give me a lift and my friends were sharing my post. One girl that I knew was driving down from Kilkivan and she saw my post and ended up giving Roy and I a lift."
The 17-year-old said she would never forget the victory.
"The first round was my best on the first day. Roy ran 19.446 seconds. It is one of the best runs he has ever done," she said.
"It is a fairly big course at Tamworth so I was pretty happy.
"The struggle of getting down there made the win more exciting. I was so lucky to get down there otherwise none of this would have happened."
Dale only started riding about five to six years ago after she and her mum moved from Bribie Island to Widgee.
The Gympie Times Player of the Year
"We always wanted to live in the country and have horses, so one day we decided to just pack up and leave," she said.
"The first couple years I was riding someone else's horses and was mainly cutting (horse and rider working together before a panel of judges to show the horses athleticism and cattle herding abilities)," she said.
"I was not a natural rider, I worked really hard. My dad bought me two horses and they were feral, I worked really hard with them for a year and got them quiet. I sold one and the other Bundy I still ride.
"I was doing pony club, I got different people and lessons from instructors, basically information from everyone on how to calm the horses."
Dale is focusing her attention to pro rodeos at the end of next year.
"I am training a new horse Toxic at the moment and he is a natural talent in barrel racing," she said.
"I want to start doing pro rodeos with him because out of all of my horses he is going to take me the furthest."
It is through these achievements that Dale is The Gympie Times 13th Player of the Week.