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Rikki

Rikki Garstone

Year of Award: 2015 Award State: Northern Territory Animals > General
To research training and preparation techniques for high-level competition in rodeo timed events - USA, Canada
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Major lessons, conclusions and dissemination of information

Being able to travel to the USA through the Churchill Fellowship allowed me a much greater level of exposure to the rodeo industry than I would have otherwise been able to achieve on my own.

I was able to learn several training techniques employed by leading riders and trainers at every stage of a horses training – from training young horses to fine tuning an experienced horse to prepare it for high level competition. I also learnt about how important it is to prepare yourself as an athlete, both mentally and physically.

What I discovered most on this journey was that fortune does not favour the lazy, and there is a certain level of dedication, passion and hard work required by those that grace the elite ranks in equestrian sport, and indeed any sport. No amount of talent, good luck or money can replace the need to continually strive for excellence and to never stop learning.

These lessons will prove valuable back in Australia as I train other riders to learn roping and barrel racing. I will continue to help promote events in several Australian associations and the experience I gained in my project will assist those qualifying for events nationally and internationally to prepare themselves.

I will be writing media for the Australian Professional Rodeo Association and the Australasian Team Roping Association to encourage others to take up this amazing opportunity and help develop the sport even more.

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